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 IDEA Fit Business Success, 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 an award-winning writer and editor.