More patients know their credit rating than their cholesterol level

Posted: 1 June 2015

High cholesterol is a major risk factor in the development of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) – the single most common cause of death for men and women in the UK. But shocking new data reveals 70% of men and women in the UK aged 45+ do not know their cholesterol leveli. In fact, they are more likely to know their credit rating.ii

The research from over 1,000 men and women aged 45+ conducted by Flora ProActiv shows a worrying lack of awareness of cholesterol levels and calls for healthcare professionals (HCPs) to help patients better manage their heart health. In England, around 58% of men and 61% of women have blood cholesterol levels of 5.0 mmol/l and above, with prevalence increasing with age.iii But despite 79% saying they believe everyone is responsible for maintaining a healthy cholesterol level,iv the new data show more than one in three people aged 45+ are not concerned about their total cholesterol levelv with almost one in every five never having had their cholesterol checkedvi and over a third not being checked in over a year.vii It’s especially concerning given the data show that of those who have been checked, the majority have elevated cholesterol.viii

Tanya Footman, Senior Nutrition & Health Manager for Flora ProActiv commented; “It’s worrying there are so many misconceptions and that the majority of adults over the age of 45 do not know their cholesterol level. It’s very important that people are aware of their cholesterol level so they can better understand their risk of CHD. As people can directly influence the effect of modifiable risk factors on their heart health, such as cholesterol levels, healthcare professionals have a crucial role in helping their patients to make small and simple changes to their diet and lifestyle, to help them reduce their CHD risk.”

But the research also shows 73% of people aged 45+ rate HCPs as the most likely source of information they turn to for advice on lowering cholesterol meaning HCPs are uniquely placed to offer patients the advice and support they need to lower their cholesterol and therefore reduce their risk of CHD.*

*As heart disease has multiple risk factors, you may need to improve more than one to reduce your overall risk.