Conceptualization and Measurement of Physiologic Health for Adults

Vol. 11, Hypercholesterolemia

by Robert H. Brook, Kathleen N. Lohr, Emmett B. Keeler, Daniel M. Berman, George A. Goldberg


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Hypercholesterolemia (excessively high blood cholesterol) is an important laboratory finding because of its marked association with increased risk of coronary heart disease. Data on its prevalence and harmful consequences are used in the Health Insurance Study (HIS) to investigate the effect of different levels of insurance on health status and quality of care because of its widespread occurrence among middle-aged persons, its potentially serious complications, and its responsiveness to treatment (especially dietary modification). This volume reviews pertinent literature, describes HIS methods for measuring its presence and impact on people's lives, discusses enrollment data from six HIS sites, and outlines quality-of-care criteria. Of 3,268 adults with complete data, 139 (4.3 percent) were hypercholesterolemic; an additional 11 were taking hypercholesterolemia drugs. Of these 150, 64 (43 percent) knew of their condition; of these 39 percent reported worry or activity restrictions (or both).

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