Study: Cholesterol levels at lowest in 47 years
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12/12/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

The Associated Press is reporting that Americans' cholesterol is going down. For the first time in nearly 50 years, the average level for adults is in the ideal range.

A national blood test finds the average total cholesterol is 199. Doctors like patients to have total cholesterol readings of 200 or lower. Researchers link the decrease to cholesterol-lowering drugs in people 60 and older.

An epidemiologist at the National Center for Health Statistics says that's the age group where people are "most likely to be treated with medication."

When the survey first began in 1960, Americans' average cholesterol was up at 222.

Dr. Brian Swirsky is an expert on heart disease and cholesterol management with the Yale School of Medicine. He said that people everywhere – particularly when they get into their 40s, must be aware of the dangers that plaque build up in the inner walls of their arteriers, can lead to heart attack or worse.

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