News / Health

    WHO Study Finds Many with High Cholesterol Go Untreated

    WHO Study Finds Many with High Cholesterol Go Untreated
    WHO Study Finds Many with High Cholesterol Go Untreated

    Multimedia

    Vidushi Sinha

    A major study by the World Health Organization shows that most people with high cholesterol levels around the world are not getting the treatment they need, to avoid such serious diseases as heart attacks and strokes.  And the authors of the study - the largest ever undertaken - say the problem is especially serious in the developing world.

    The connection between high cholesterol and heart attacks is not new. But the new global study serves as yet another warning about the growing epidemic of  untreated high cholesterol levels, which can cause cardiovascular disease.

    The study was done on 147 million people - and found an increasing incidence of high levels of cholesterol the world over. Even more worrying, the researchers say, is that many of those patients are going untreated.

    In Japan, for example, 53 per cent of those diagnosed with high cholesterol did not get treatment. While in Thailand, 78 per cent of those surveyed were never even diagnosed.

    Experts are stressing the basics yet again. Dr Chelsea Kidwell, Director of the Georgetown Stroke Center in Washington, said "As developing countries adopt a western diet - the cholesterol levels are increasing so people need to understand that high cholesterol is a significant risk factor for stroke and heart disease."

    A high level of so-called "bad" cholesterol causes plaque in the bloodstream, which can slow down the blood flow to the heart. If not enough blood and oxygen reach the heart, it can result in a heart attack. If the blockage keeps blood from getting to the brain, it can cause a stroke.  On its own, high cholesterol does not cause any symptoms so many times people are unaware of the problem until a stroke or heart attack hits.

    "A simple blood test can tell you where your cholesterol levels are and we have target ranges that we know decreases the risk of stroke and heart attack for example the bad type of cholesterol we would like to keep it under 100 and that minimizes the risk of having an event," said Dr. Kidwell.

    Cardiovascular disease kills more than 17 million people every year and WHO says 80 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries.

    Dr Joseph Sabik of Cleveland Clinic says the risk can be reduced by making simple lifestyle changes.

    "If you’re someone that’s overweight - you gotta lose weight. If you’re sedentary, you have to exercise. If you have a strong family history and the genetics are there. You have to (take aggressive action) to take care of yourself," he said.

    Lifestyle changes may not benefit everyone. Medication may become necessary for those whose cholesterol levels are very high.

    But Dr. Kidwell says medication may be out of reach for many people. "Globally they are probably not going to be affordable in some of the developing countries and that is an ongoing problem that the health care community needs to address," she said.

    Global health experts say that along with improved screening and treatment for cholesterol people should eat less salt and fewer saturated fats, and avoid tobacco. They believe these steps can help stem the rising tide of global cholesterol levels.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora