CDC: Cholesterol Levels Continue to Drop

Health_120403_01.jpg
Associated Press SHARE

By MIKE STOBBE, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. health officials say only 13 percent of U.S. adults have high total cholesterol. That may seem incredible in a nation where two-thirds of adults are overweight.

[Read: Is a Gluten-Free Diet Smart for Weight Loss?]

Experts believe it's largely because so many Americans take cholesterol-lowering drugs, but dropping smoking rates and other factors also contributed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Tuesday. The numbers come from interviews and blood tests of nearly than 6,000 U.S. adults in 2009 and 2010.

[Read: Your Guide to Exercising Through the Ages.]

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the blood. Too much total cholesterol is a risk for heart disease. The government set a goal that no more than 17 percent of adults have high total cholesterol. The goal was achieved about five years ago for women and more than ten years ago for men.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.