In December 2014, Mended Hearts teamed up with Sanofi US and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., along with Foundation of the National Lipid Association (FNLA) and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA), to launch Cholesterol Counts, an awareness program to rally Americans to take an active role in understanding there is more to be done to control high LDL-C (bad cholesterol). The program aims to reinvigorate the conversation on cholesterol management between patients and their health care providers (HCPs).
The focal point of the program is the Cholesterol Counts Poll, which asks a range of questions about individual health and perception of cholesterol management and associated risks, to gauge how much Americans really know about cholesterol. The poll is available on www.CholesterolCounts.com and was also fielded by Harris Poll, one of the world’s leading market research firms.
In February 2015, the initial results* of the poll were unveiled, showing that 71% of Americans surveyed (n=2,033) are not sure of or do not recall their LDL-C (bad cholesterol) levels. Additionally:
? 29% of Americans surveyed report they have been told by a doctor or healthcare professional that they have high LDL-C (bad cholesterol).
? 44% of Americans surveyed report they are not sure if LDL cholesterol is referred to as “bad” cholesterol.
“The results of the Cholesterol Counts Poll uncover a concerning situation. About a third of Americans surveyed self-reported high levels of LDL-C, but many of those surveyed are not sure that LDL-C is bad cholesterol,” said Michele Packard-Milam, CAE, executive director of Mended Hearts and a spokesperson for the program. “There seems to be a gap in knowledge about LDL-C — we need to rally Americans to become educated about their LDL-C numbers and what they mean to their heart health.” 1,2
This gap in knowledge is important to be aware of, because high cholesterol, and specifically high LDL-C (bad cholesterol), is a serious condition that can lead to heart disease (including heart attack and stroke),1 the number one cause of death in the U.S.3
Cholesterol Counts continues to take a pulse on how much American adults know about cholesterol and their own cholesterol levels. Visit www.CholesterolCounts.com to take the poll and see how your knowledge stacks up to the first wave of Americans who have already been counted. Initial results from more than 12,000 Americans are available on the website via interactive maps that compare national and state-by-state cholesterol awareness data. Additional results from the poll will be released throughout 2015.
*Results are based on a survey of 2,033 adults 18+ across the U.S. and approximately 200 adults 18+ in each of the 50 states. The results are weighted demographically and attitudinally to be representative of the national population and the population of each state.
1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “What is Cholesterol?” September 2012. https://www.nhlbi. nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc/#. Accessed March 2015.
2. American Heart Association. “Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring of High Cholesterol.” April 2014. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/ Cholesterol/SymptomsDiagnosisMonitoringofHighCholesterol/Symptoms-Diagnosis-and-Monitoring-of-High-Cholesterol_UCM_001214_Article.jsp. Accessed March 2015.
3. Centers for Disease Control. “Heart Disease Facts.” February 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/ facts.htm. Accessed March 2015.