Prevalence of bad cholesterol levels decreases in US

Among the population aged 20 years or older, the prevalence of high LDL-C levels decreased from 1999-2000 to 2005-2006. In the most recent period, the prevalence was 21.2%. – Between 1999 and 2006, the prevalence of adults in the U.S. with high levels of LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, decreased by about one-third, revealed by US researchers. But a high percentage of adults still are not being screened or treated for high cholesterol levels.

Lower cholesterol early in life

UC San Diego researchers are proposing that aggressive intervention to lower cholesterol levels as early as childhood is the best approach. – With heart disease maintaining top billing as the leading cause of death in the United States, a team of University of California, San Diego School of Medicine physician-researchers is proposing that aggressive intervention to lower cholesterol levels as early as childhood is the best approach available today to reducing the incidence of coronary heart disease.

Lowering cholesterol reduces heart attack and stroke risk

Even small reductions in cholesterol can substantially reduce heart attacks and strokes. – New research by the Nutrition and Lifestyle team at The George Institute has indicated that even small reductions in cholesterol can substantially reduce heart attacks and strokes. This occurs across a broad range of individuals, irrespective of age, sex or initial cholesterol level.

Ongoing review of cholesterol drug Vytorin

FDA issues early communication about an ongoing review of vytorin, and advises patients to talk with their health care providers if they have questions about the ENHANCE study. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public that the agency will conduct a review of Merck and Schering Plough’s recent trial once the FDA receives the final study results.

Vytorin does not appear to be unsafe – American Heart Association

Schering-Plough Corp and Merck & Co are defending their shared cholesterol treatments, Vytorin and Zetia, in advertisements in The New York Times after a failed study generated negative publicity. – Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals released results from the ENHANCE trial, which found that the ezetimibe/simvastatin (Zetia/Zocor) combination drug known as Vytorin was no more effective in reducing artery plaque build-up than simvastatin (Zocor) alone. There were no statistically significant differences in the safety of the drugs, which are used to lower cholesterol.

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