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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid