Cholesterol levels rising, survey shows

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 September, 1999, 12:00am

Cholesterol levels are rising, with post-menopausal women found to be the highest risk group.

A total of 1,127 participants - 460 men and 667 women - had free blood tests for cholesterol levels this month, a survey showed.

The tests results revealed 24.7 per cent of men and 28.5 per cent of women had levels higher than the healthy 200 milligram per decilitre mark.

The percentages were higher than those collected in a similar survey by Chinese University in 1994, in which the unhealthy cholesterol levels were found in 20.7 per cent of men and 21.5 per cent of women.

Doctors said that diets, which included fast foods, high unsaturated fats and snacks, had contributed to the high levels.

The survey, carried out by Cholestin Cholesterol Resources Centre, also revealed that post-menopausal women were most at risk. For women aged between 46 to 60, 41 per cent had levels five times that of women aged 25 to 45.

Doctors said the lowering of female hormones in post-menopausal women made it difficult for them to maintain a healthy level.

If too much cholesterol was deposited in artery walls they could become blocked and cause a stroke or heart attack.

The study also found cholesterol levels did not follow body weight: some slim people had high levels.