Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Heart Assoc. 2014 Feb 26;3(1):446. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.113.000650.

Serum cholesterol concentration and prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2008-2010: Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



The mortality rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD) among young adults has declined less than that in the older population, raising concerns about the increasing prevalence of obesity-related conditions including hypercholesterolemia in the younger population. We investigated the age-standardized mean levels of serum cholesterols and the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control rates of hyper-low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterolemia based on age.


Nationally representative samples of 19 489 subjects aged ≥20 years were analyzed from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2008-2010. Hyper-LDL-cholesterolemia was individually evaluated by the 2004 National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. Age-standardized mean levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides were 186.8, 48.0, 112.9, and 136.0 mg/dL, respectively. Age-standardized prevalence of hyper-LDL-cholesterolemia was 23.2% (men, 25.5%; women, 21.8%). Among subjects with hyper-LDL-cholesterolemia, awareness and treatment rates were significantly lower in younger adults (<50 years) compared to older adults ≥50 years (awareness, 8.0% versus 21.5%; treatment, 5.1% versus 18.5%, all Ps<0.001), indicating significant discrepancies in awareness and treatment rates of hypercholesterolemia between younger and older adults. Among subjects aware of their hyper-LDL-cholesterolemia, younger adults were more likely to have controlled LDL-cholesterol than the elderly (82.1% versus 67.5%, P<0.001).


Compared to the elderly, significant proportions of young and middle-aged adults are unaware of their hypercholesterolemia and are not treated with proper lipid-lowering medications. Early screening, education, and proper management should be stressed in national public healthcare policies to reduce the increasing burden of CVD in the younger population with undiagnosed hypercholesterolemia.


cholesterol; epidemiology; hypercholesterolemia; low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk