(HealthDay News) — The percentage of adults aged 40 and older taking cholesterol-lowering medications, including statins, rose from 20 to 28 percent between 2003 and 2012, according to a December data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

CDC epidemiologist Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues found that the use of cholesterol-lowering medication increased with age — 17 percent of those aged 40 to 59 took such medications, while use increased to 48 percent among those 75 and older. The team also found that 70.8 percent of adults with cardiovascular disease and 53.9 percent of adults with hypercholesterolemia were taking cholesterol-lowering medication.

In addition, the researchers found that among those aged 40 to 64, health insurance played a role. Those with health insurance were more likely to take a cholesterol-lowering medication than those without insurance, Gu told HealthDay.

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The researchers also found that the use of statins increased from 18 to 26 percent, making them the most commonly used cholesterol-lowering medications. By 2011 to 2012, 93 percent of adults using a cholesterol-lowering medication used a statin. The CDC researchers said they couldn’t speculate on the reasons for the increase.


  1. CDC: Prescription Cholesterol-lowering Medication Use in Adults Aged 40 and Over: United States, 2003–2012, Dec 2014