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Most Americans not sure about the sources of high cholesterol

Dallas, July 14, 2004 - Results from a recent nationwide survey showed that most respondents did not know that high cholesterol comes from two sources, even though the respondents reported having high cholesterol. When asked about the sources of cholesterol, more than three-quarters of respondents (77 percent) stated incorrectly that the food they eat contributes the most to high cholesterol. In fact, the cholesterol in the bloodstream is not just absorbed from the food people eat, but the majority is produced naturally in the body.

Other findings from the survey showed that 45 percent of high cholesterol patients said they were more concerned about cholesterol compared to other personal health issues and 75 percent felt that their cholesterol should be lower.

"Patients with high cholesterol should make an extra effort to be as informed about their cholesterol levels as possible. Knowing about the sources of cholesterol is a key step in this process," says David Cohen, M.D., director of hepatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital. "The fact is that both diet and heredity play a critical role in your cholesterol levels. While diet can contribute significantly to elevated cholesterol, the body's natural chemistry can often produce dangerously high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol based on heredity alone. When working with a physician to manage your condition, it is important for patients to understand that there are two sources of cholesterol and in many cases both need to be addressed."

The survey results also showed:

  • Respondents did have a general sense that the lower their cholesterol the better; with 75 percent agreeing that their cholesterol should be lower than it currently is now.
  • Most respondents (85 percent) said they were aware there are national guidelines for where their overall cholesterol number should be. However, only 27 percent of those people actually knew that the optimal level for LDL cholesterol i
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14-Jul-2004


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