Heart Beat: Good news about cholesterol

Heart Beat

Good news about cholesterol

Published: March, 2014

Cholesterol levels for the mythical average American continue to inch downward. In 1960, the average total cholesterol level in adults was 222 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). In 2002, the last year with complete data, it stood at 203 mg/dL. The average LDL (bad) cholesterol has also declined, from 138 mg/dL in 1976 to 123 in 2002. HDL (good) cholesterol hardly budged from around 50 mg/dL.

The 15-point decline in LDL may not sound like much, but it corresponds to a 10% drop in the risk of heart disease. Apply that to a large population and it represents a substantial amount of heart disease prevented, or at least put off.

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