Many Heart Attack, Stroke Survivors Do Not Know Their Cholesterol Levels

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

American Heart Association says knowing levels is key to preventing recurrent heart attack, stroke

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Nearly half of heart attack and stroke survivors are unaware of their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, according to a survey released online by the American Heart Association (AHA).

The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the AHA, included responses from 3,008 U.S. adults and 503 who self-reported experiencing a stroke and/or heart attack. The survey was conducted May 1 to 16, 2023.

The survey revealed that three-quarters of heart attack and stroke survivors reported having high cholesterol, and 47 percent were unaware of their LDL cholesterol level. Similarly, only 49 percent recognized the need to prioritize lowering their cholesterol. However, nearly two-thirds of respondents with a prior stroke or heart attack correctly understood that high cholesterol poses a risk for heart attack and stroke.

“There’s a pervasive lack of public awareness and understanding around bad cholesterol and its impact on your cardiovascular health,” Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., AHA president, said in a statement. “As bad cholesterol usually has no symptoms, we often find that many patients are walking around without knowing they’re at risk or how to mitigate it.”

The AHA Lower Your LDL Cholesterol Now initiative, sponsored by Amgen, Inc., is encouraging people to ask their doctor to check their cholesterol levels.

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