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National Cholesterol Education Month --- September 2000

High blood cholesterol increases the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Lowering cholesterol levels will reduce new heart disease events and deaths. To increase awareness of the importance of monitoring cholesterol levels and steps to achieve or maintain healthy levels, the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) is sponsoring National Cholesterol Education Month during September.

NCEP recommends that persons aged >20 years have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years. A blood cholesterol level <200 mg/dL is considered desirable, a level 200--239 mg/dL is borderline-high, and a level >240 mg/dL is high (1). Cholesterol levels may be lowered through dietary modification, physical activity, weight control, or drug treatment. Dietary modification is the optimal method for lowering cholesterol (1).

During September, CDC-funded state cardiovascular health programs and their partners will highlight programs that raise awareness and understanding about high blood cholesterol as a risk factor for heart disease. Additional information about how cholesterol may affect health and about other risk factors for heart disease is available from the American Heart Association World-Wide Web site at*, NCEP at, and CDC at


  1. National Institutes of Health. Second report of the expert panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults. Bethesda, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1993 (NIH publication no. 93-3095).

* Reference to sites of non-CDC organizations on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites.

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