A new report may change how you think about cholesterol.
If a new report is any indication, Americans are in serious denial when it comes to cholesterol.
Nearly half of all Americans who have cholesterol readings that would put them at a high risk of a heart attack or stroke aren’t taking any medication to mitigate that risk, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
The study in question, produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show that while there are lots of treatments proven to lower cholesterol — especially statins, which don’t cost much — people just aren’t taking them as much as they should be.
About 44.5 percent of American adults would benefit from drugs that lower cholesterol levels, but are not taking anything. That could be because people don’t realize they have high cholesterol, or underestimate the risk of having high cholesterol and are in denial about the problem.
The study found that there were differences based on race. African Americans were considered eligible for treatment with cholesterol lowering drugs 39.5 percent of the time, but a full 54 percent of those individuals weren’t taking anything to limits the risk. That compares to 38.4 percent and 42 percent for whites, and about 25 percent and 52.9 percent for Mexican Americans.
In terms of gender, women were more likely to take them than men — 58.6 percent to 53.9 percent.
The big factor may be having a reliable source of medical care, as 94.3 percent of African Americans who did not have access to a regular source of medical care did not take medication for high cholesterol.
There may be some resistance to the drugs because of side effects. Statin medications sometimes results in muscle pain or fatigue, and in one in 100 cases, a patient will develop diabetes.