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September 7, 2000
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC)
Cardiovascular Health Program
(770) 4888266

Fact Sheet

State-Specific Trends in High Blood Cholesterol Awareness Among Persons Screened United States, 1991-1999

  • An estimated one in four Americans (18.9%) have high blood cholesterol (level of 240 mg/dl or above). This represents more than 40.6 million Americans who have high risk cholesterol levels. A Healthy People 2010 national goal for heart disease and stroke is to reduce the proportion of adults with high total blood cholesterol.

  • Data collected from CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) found that the proportion of adults aged 20 years and older who were screened for cholesterol and who were aware that they had HBC increased by nearly three percentage points from 25.7% in 1991 to 28.6% in 1999.

  • From 1991 to 1999, HBC awareness among screened adults increased in the District of Columbia and 38 states with the highest percentage point increases occurring in Ohio (7.6 percentage point) and Florida (7.3 percentage point).

  • Increases in HBC awareness occurred among each of the racial and ethnic groups White (25.8% in 1991 to 28.9% in 1999); African American (24.6% in 1991 to 27.2% in 1999); and Hispanic (23.7% in 1991 to 27.4% in 1999).

  • The Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults, Adult Treatment Panel III, released by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked at least once every five years.

  • Cholesterol levels can be lowered through healthy lifestyle changes such as an improved diet, weight management, exercise, cholesterol lowering drugs, or combination of these strategies.

  • For more information about cholesterol, the CDC's Web site at visit the American Heart Association's Web site at, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Web site at

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This page last reviewed September 7, 2001

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention