Overall, 11.4 percent of adults had high total cholesterol during 2015 to 2018, according to an April data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.
Margaret D. Carroll, M.S.P.H., and Cheryl D. Fryar, M.S.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to estimate the prevalence of high total cholesterol and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) among U.S. adults aged 20 years and older.
The researchers found that 11.4 percent of adults had high total cholesterol during 2015 to 2018, and prevalence was similar by race and Hispanic origin. The highest prevalence of high total cholesterol was seen among those aged 40 to 59 years. Overall, 26.6 percent of men and 8.5 percent of women had low HDL-C. The prevalence of low HDL-C was lowest in non-Hispanic blacks among men and highest in Hispanics among women. There was a decrease in the prevalence of high total cholesterol from 1999-2000 to 2017-2018; the prevalence of low HDL-C decreased from 2007-2008 to 2017-2018.
“Healthy People 2020 established a goal of lowering the percentage of adults with high total cholesterol to no more than 13.5 percent,” the authors write. “During 2015 to 2018, the overall prevalence in both men and women met this goal; however, the prevalence of high total cholesterol among adults aged 40 to 59 was above this goal.”