Patients lowering “bad” cholesterol double in last 10 years

June 23rd, 2009 - 5:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 23 (ANI): The number of patients who have lowered their “bad” cholesterol to the advised level has nearly doubled over the last decade, according to a multi-national survey.

The research said patients had improved their cholesterol through a combination of medical treatment and lifestyle changes.

In the survey of nearly 10,000 patients (average age 62) from nine countries undergoing cholesterol-lowering and management efforts, researchers found that the number of patients successfully reaching their respective low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels rose from 38 percent to 73 percent over the last 10 years.

Among high-risk patients, 67 percent reached established goal levels. Only 30 percent of very high risk patients - those with existing coronary artery disease and two or more other risk factors such as obesity, diabetes and smoking - successfully reached their LDL target of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less.

LDL is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol because it’s associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

“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 D. Waters, M.D., lead author of the study and Emeritus Professor, 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.

For patients without coronary artery disease, diabetes, or other cardiovascular risk favors, the ideal LDL is 160 mg/dL or less.

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.

The survey results have been reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. (ANI)

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