Prior to 2008 we saw a steady decline in LDL-cholesterol, the form that puts you at greatest risk for heart disease. The 13% decline translated into an 8% to 21% reduction in yearly deaths from heart disease. This was great news from a public health perspective.
But it all stalled in 2008. From that point on LDL cholesterol levels have stayed the same for both men and women in all age groups. Researchers looked at over 105 million adults who had blood tests ordered by their doctors. In the entire group the progress we had been seeing against heart disease risk simply stalled and no further positive achievements occurred.
This study did not look into why the changes had occurred but one could speculate that it may be caused by the increasing epidemic of overweight and obesity in this country. The most effective way to lower LDL cholesterol is by losing weight, exercising and eating a heart-healthy diet.