Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good news on the prevention front

The levels of "bad" cholesterol is a known cause of strokes, and controlling those levels is a known way to help stroke prevention.

So good news from a recent study:
The number of adults who had high levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol dropped to 21 percent in 2005 to 2006 from 32 percent in 1999 to 2000, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. About 13 percent of those in the study were taking cholesterol-lowering medicines such as Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor, the top-selling drug in 2008, and Merck & Co.’s Zocor, compared with 8 percent in the earlier period.

The drop in the rates of high levels of LDL cholesterol may be a result of more people taking cholesterol-lowering medicine, eating a better diet and getting more exercise, said the study’s lead author, Elena Kuklina, in a telephone interview today. Even with that improvement, too many people have elevated levels, said Kuklina and other researchers at the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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