One in seven adults don’t know they have certain major chronic conditions

May 7, 2010

Findings from a new report, “Hypertension, High cholesterol, and Diabetes: Racial and Ethnic Prevalence Differences in US Adults, 1999-2006” were presented at last month’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) tour for members of the Association of Health Care Journalists in Chicago, IL. NHANES is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The new NHANES data found that 45 percent of adults had at least one of three diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic conditions: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes. The report also found the following:

  • Nearly one in seven U.S. adults (15%) had one or more of these conditions undiagnosed.
  • Non-Hispanic black persons were more likely than non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American persons to have at least one of the three conditions (diagnosed or undiagnosed).
  • Non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white persons were more likely than Mexican-American persons to have both diagnosed or undiagnosed hypertension and hyper-cholesterolemia.
  • Non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American persons were more likely than non-Hispanic white persons to have both diagnosed or undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes.

 The graph below displays the prevalence of diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic conditions by race and ethnic groups:

For more, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db36.pdf

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High cholesterol? It could be happening to you…

January 27, 2010

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.