One in Six Americans Never Has Had Their Cholesterol Checked

Despite the much publicized link between cholesterol and heart disease, one in six Americans age 20 and older – almost 36 million people – have never had their cholesterol levels checked, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

According to AHRQ, the following have never had their blood cholesterol checked:

o More than one-third of uninsured people between ages 20 - 64, 22 percent who have public insurance, and 16 percent of people with private health insurance.

o One fourth of Hispanic adults, 16 percent each of black and Asian adults, and 15 percent of white adults.

o Twenty percent of males and 14 percent of females.

o Approximately 21 percent of people who did not graduate from high school.

o Nearly 40 percent of people between ages 20 to 34, 17 percent between 35 and 44 years of age, six percent between 45 and 64 and two percent of people 65 and older.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on 2005 data from the Agency’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which collects information each year from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households about health care use, expenses, access, health status and quality. MEPS is a unique Government survey because of the degree of detail in its data, as well as its ability to link data on health services spending and health insurance to demographic, employment, economic, health status, and other characteristics of individuals and families.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

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