Disparities in screening for and awareness of high blood cholesterol--United States, 1999-2002

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005 Feb 11;54(5):117-9.


High blood cholesterol is a major modifiable risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Two national health objectives for 2010 are to reduce to 17% the proportion of adults with high total blood cholesterol levels and to increase to 80% the proportion of adults who had their blood cholesterol checked during the preceding 5 years. In addition, an overall national health objective is to eliminate racial/ethnic and other disparities in all health outcomes. During 1960-1994, total blood cholesterol levels among the overall U.S. population declined; however, levels have changed little since then, despite increases in cholesterol screening and awareness. To assess racial/ethnic and other disparities among persons who were screened for high blood cholesterol during the preceding 5 years and among persons who were aware of their high blood cholesterol, CDC analyzed data from the 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that Mexican Americans, blacks, and younger adults were less likely to be screened for high blood cholesterol, and persons in those populations who had high cholesterol were less likely to be aware of their condition. Efforts are needed to encourage persons, especially among these populations, to seek screening and gain awareness of high blood cholesterol.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diagnosis*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data