A new study finds the majority of the public still does not know cholesterol can lead to early death. In order to save lives, the American Heart Association believes the public has to know high cholesterol is dangerous. Their new study finds physicians, overall, need to improve the educational process.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. While death rates from heart disease have dropped in the last 20 years, the AHA says more needs to be done. This study by doctors at Mt. Sinai Medical Center was a survey of more than 1,100 adults. They found while 91.2 percent said it was important to them personally to have a healthy cholesterol level, only half knew their cholesterol level. Only 40 percent knew the national guidelines on cholesterol management.
A little more than half of those surveyed knew what numbers were desirable when it comes to cholesterol. The authors of the study say these findings point to the need for further education. Specifically, they say more needs to be done to advise people of the modifiable risk factors such as smoking, exercise, a healthy diet, and high blood pressure.
The study also revealed patients rely on their physicians to educate them more than any other source. The authors of the study write, "Physicians and other health care providers have a tremendous opportunity to improve their education of patients and lower the morbidity and mortality of atherosclerotic disease."