In 2005–2006, 16% of adults had serum total cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or greater (high cholesterol). The good news is that generally, for Americans 20 years of age and over, cholesterol levels are declining. However, this decline was seen for men 40 years and over and for women 60 years and over, with little change between 1999 and 2006 for all other age-sex groups.
What may be most disconcerting is the fact that many U.S. adults may not even know they have high cholesterol, with data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey finding that 8% of U.S. adults had high cholesterol but had never been told by a health care provider that their cholesterol levels were high. For more data concerning high cholesterol, see the NCHS Data Brief on High Cholesterol. For more information on combating high cholesterol, visit the CDC Webpage on Cholesterol.