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High cholesterol now a global problem


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Cholesterol patients are not getting enough treatment, confirms a comprehensive study on 147 million cholesterol patients. According to the data of World Health Organisation, cholesterol kills around 17 million people every year.

Between 1998 and 2007 information on cholesterol levels and prescribing patterns were gathered for England, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Scotland, Thailand and the US.

As per WHO’s bulletin, very few cholesterol patients are put on cholesterol-lowering drugs. The findings in the study support the growing recognition that cardiovascular diseases are not merely 'diseases of affluence' and that some middle-income countries are beginning to face a double burden of both chronic and communicable diseases.

The cholesterol problem has emerged and is slowly coming up as a global problem. For example, in Thailand 78% of adults surveyed, who were found to have high cholesterol, had not been diagnosed, while in Japan, 53% of adults were diagnosed but remained untreated.

While England fared slightly better, but in 2006 over two-thirds of people remained undiagnosed and around a fifth were diagnosed but untreated. Mexico did the best, diagnosing and treating nearly 60% of cases.

Though governments and people are more aware of risks of cardiovascular diseases resulting in several mass programmes for the diagnosis but experts feel a lot needs to be done still.

Doctors say that cholesterol medicines are widely available, highly affective. But not all patients need drugs. They just need to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits and regular physical exercise.

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