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Some Women Clueless About Cholesterol

by Joy Keller and Ryan Halvorson on Feb 01, 2008

Making News

In a survey conducted by the Society for Women’s Health Research, a Washington, DC–based advocacy organization, 79% of women knew how much they weighed in high school but fewer than one-third knew their current cholesterol levels. Of the women who’d recently had a cholesterol test, only 57% could recall the results.

GfK Custom Research North America conducted the telephone survey of 524 women
June 29–July 1 last year. Other results included the following:

  • 1 in 3 women (32.9%) did not know that you can exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet but still have dangerously high cholesterol levels.
  • More than one-third (36.3%) of the women were surprised to learn that high cholesterol has no symptoms.
  • Fewer than 4 in 10 (35%) women knew any of the four key numbers for monitoring cholesterol: total-cholesterol level, LDL level, HDL level and triglycerides (blood fat) level.
  • 90% of women believed that some cholesterol was good, yet only a third (38%) correctly identified HDL as the “good” cholesterol. An equal number got it wrong.
  • Half of the participants surveyed (50.2%) knew that atherosclerosis was hardening of the arteries. One-third (33.9%) believed it was loss of bone density, and 24% thought it was curvature of the spine.

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About the Authors

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is the chief content officer for Fit Scribe Media (www.fitscribemedia.com); contributing editor for IDEA Health & Fitness Association; director of group training at Bird Rock Fit in La Jolla, CA; a Master Instructor for Metabolic Effect and the creator of www.Fat2Fitin30.com, a lifestyle organization dedicated to finding ways to achieve improved fitness, nutrition and healthy living habits in 30 minutes or less. He is an internationally recognized speaker and has written for publications such as DETAILS and GQ.