About 38% of American adults have high cholesterol (total blood cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dL).1 Too much cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States. High cholesterol has no signs or symptoms, so the only way to know if you have it is to get your cholesterol checked. Talk to your health care team about how you can manage your cholesterol levels and lower your risk.
Learn about “good” and “bad” cholesterol.
Find out what increases your risk for high cholesterol.
Learn what you can do to lower your risk.
Find tools and resources to help your patients.
Cholesterol Communications Kit
Health professionals can share these social media messages, graphics, and resources to educate their audiences about cholesterol and cardiovascular disease prevention.
Best Practices Guide for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Current strategies for controlling cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are not widely used as standard practice. CDC developed this guide to provide health professionals with evidence-based strategies for effective and sustainable CVD prevention, including health and economic impact and potential for reducing health disparities.
CDC Report on Cholesterol Management
A 2015 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) studied the number of Americans who were on or eligible for cholesterol medicine, following the release of 2013 clinical guidelines. The report found that women were more likely than men to take cholesterol-lowering medication. Non-Hispanic whites were also more likely to take cholesterol-lowering medication than Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic blacks were.
Vital Signs: Preventing Stroke Deaths
After decades of decline, progress has slowed in preventing stroke deaths. Almost 800,000 people have a stroke each year; more than 140,000 die, and many survivors face disability. This is disturbing because about 80% of strokes are preventable. Controlling your blood pressure, managing cholesterol and diabetes, and quitting smoking are important steps to reducing your risk. Learn more about how health systems can address stroke risk factors and improve the quality of stroke care to reduce stroke deaths.
Vital Signs: High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
The CDC Vital Signs program is a call to action each month concerning a single, important public health topic. CDC Vital Signs for February focuses on cardiovascular disease, specifically control of hypertension and cholesterol.
- Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Associationexternal icon. Circulation. 2020;141(9):e139–e596.