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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora