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Dec 04, 2015 08:31 AM EST

Almost half of Americans with high cholesterol not on medication


A new study by CDC says that nearly half of Americans who suffer from high cholesterol are not taking proper medication for it, Los Angeles Times reports.

The new study says that 44.5% of American adults who are likely to benefit from cholesterol-lowering drugs were not taking the proper medication.

The study also noted that the cholesterol treatment gaps were far more pronounced among minorities in the United States than among white Americans. The study noted that 39.5% of American blacks are considered "eligible" for cholesterol lowering medications. But, 54% of eligible U.S. blacks were not taking medications to limit their cholesterol.

On the other hand, 38.4% white Americans are eligible for such drugs, and 42% of that group took no cholesterol-lowering medication.

The side effects of cholesterol-lowering medications are one of the reasons that result in resistance to take medication among patients. Among those taking statin medications, roughly one in 10 develops significant muscle pain and fatigue, and about one in 100 develops diabetes.

The latest research also showed that even lifestyle changes that can help reduce cardiovascular risk were also not widely followed by adults. Only 46.6% of the 78.1 million adult Americans who were either taking the cholesterol medications or considered candidates for cholesterol-lowering treatment had made lifestyle changes.

Nearly 800,000 people die of cardiovascular disease in the United States each year.

The new guidelines recommend cholesterol-lowering treatment for all adults with a history of cardiovascular disease, for those with diabetes and for adults aged 40 to 75 with other cardiovascular risk factors and LDL cholesterol between 70 and 189 mg/dL. 

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