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Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of high LDL cholesterol in New York City, 2004.

  • Author(s): Upadhyay, Ushma D
  • Waddell, Elizabeth Needham
  • Young, Stephanie
  • Kerker, Bonnie D
  • Berger, Magdalena
  • Matte, Thomas
  • Angell, Sonia Y
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a major contributor to coronary heart disease and the primary target of cholesterol-lowering therapy. Substantial disparities in cholesterol control exist nationally, but it is unclear how these patterns vary locally.

Methods

We estimated the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of high LDL cholesterol using data from a unique local survey of New York City's diverse population. The New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2004 was administered to a probability sample of New York City adults. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004 was used for comparison. High LDL cholesterol and coronary heart disease risk were defined using National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) guidelines.

Results

Mean LDL cholesterol levels in New York City and nationally were similar. In New York City, 28% of adults had high LDL cholesterol, 71% of whom were aware of their condition. Most aware adults reported modifying their diet or activity level (88%), 64% took medication, and 44% had their condition under control. More aware adults in the low ATP III risk group than those in higher risk groups had controlled LDL cholesterol (71% vs 33%-42%); more whites than blacks and Hispanics had controlled LDL cholesterol (53% vs 31% and 32%, respectively).

Conclusion

High prevalence of high LDL cholesterol and inadequate treatment and control contribute to preventable illness and death, especially among those at highest risk. Population approaches - such as making the food environment more heart-healthy - and aggressive clinical management of cholesterol levels are needed.

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