Latest Heart Disease Statistics

Latest Heart Disease Statistics

10.2% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 have high total cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol in teenagers has become a serious problem over the last few decades and doesn’t seem to be improving.

46.8% of adults (20 and older) have high total cholesterol levels.

In 2006, two-thirds of adults in the United States were overweight or obese.1 It should be no surprise that cholesterol levels are on the rise as well.

32.6% of adults have high LDL cholesterol levels.

The Adult Treatment Panel III emphasizes achieving optimal LDL cholesterol levels as pivotal for lowering risk of cardiovascular occurrences in people with or without diagnosed coronary heart disease (CHD).

16.2% of adults have low HDL cholesterol levels.1

This is a problem that is not as pervasive as high LDL levels, but treatment is just as important for patients with dyslipidemia.

According to the American Heart Association report adherence to treatment has,

  • “Less than half of persons who qualify for any kind of lipid-modifying treatment for coronary heart disease risk reduction are receiving it.
  • Less than half of even the highest-risk persons, those with symptomatic CHD, are receiving lipid-lowering treatment.
  • Only about a third of treated patients are achieving their LDL goal; less than 20 percent of CHD patients are at their LDL goal.”

Clearly, we have a problem. Therapeutic lifestyle changes such as improved diet and exercise can improve most cardiovascular risk factors, however, pharmacotherapy is necessary for many to achieve their recommended lipid goals. Statins are still the therapy of choice for cholesterol management. Statins are recognized as both safe and effective under the management of a primary health care professional. Fibrates, omega-fatty acids, and niacin has also shown to improve the control of HDL cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with mixed dislipidemia. It should be noted though that the benefits of adding these substances in addition to statin therapy has not been demonstrated in studies yet.


1. American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2010 Update. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association; 2010.

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