The number of patients who have lowered their "bad" cholesterol
to the advised level has nearly doubled in nine countries over the
last decade, according to a study released Monday.
The research, published in the American Heart Association's Journal Circulation, said patients had improved their cholesterol through a
combination of medical treatment and lifestyle changes.
What the study found
The study found the number of patients successfully reaching
their target low-density lipoprotein levels (LDL) rose from 38
percent to 73 percent over the last 10 years.
The study, which surveyed close to 10,000 people with an average
age of 62, found less improvement among high-risk patients.
Only 30 percent of those patients, who have existing coronary
artery disease or risk factors such as obesity, diabetes or smoking, successfully reached their target LDL of 70 milligrams per deciliter or less.
Lipid lowering therapy successful
"Although there is room for improvement, particularly in very
high-risk patients, these results indicate that lipid-lowering
therapy is being applied much more successfully than it was a
decade ago," said David Waters, lead author of the study from the
University of California, San Francisco.
The countries in the study were Brazil, Canada, France, Mexico,
the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the United States.
The target LDL in the United States depends on how many of a
number of risk factors are present in the patient.
Target low-density lipoprotein levels
For people who have neither coronary artery disease nor diabetes
but have at least two other risk factors, the ideal LDL is less
than 130 mg/dL.
Patients who have cardiovascular diseases or diabetes are
advised to have a bad cholesterol level no higher than 100 mg/dL,
and should try to maintain a level lower than 70 mg/dL if they have
other risk factors, the study said. – (Sapa, June 2009)
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