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Economic Recovery is Associated with A Decrease in Cholesterol Level

Economic Recovery is Associated with A Decrease in Cholesterol Level

(ePharmaNews) - Improving standards of living and increasing income is often associated with higher risk of having the rich diseases, especially higher cholesterol levels caused by unhealthy diet, lazy lifestyle and a reduction in the exercise time. Anyway, it seems that the relationship is complex and may be the opposite, as a recent study showed that income improvement in the community leads to lower levels of blood cholesterol.

On the other hand, the increased income and standards of living's improvement means that there is an economic recovery in the country and thus better healthcare systems and increased efficiency of the medical staff, and that what the researchers relay on in an attempt to study the final outcome of the pros and cons of economic development and its effects on cholesterol rates.

Researchers studied a database of more than 53,000 patients at elevated risk of heart attack or stroke from 36 different countries.
They focused on the proportion of patients with total cholesterol of more than 200 mg/dL and how it might be associated with several factors including a country’s gross national income, how well the health system functions, and the proportion of healthcare expenses that are paid for out-of-pocket.

 The results, published today in Circulation, showed that among the 38 % of patients with high total cholesterol levels, rates varied widely across countries, ranging from 73% in Bulgaria to 24% in Finland, and Patients with a prior history of high cholesterol had higher rates than those newly diagnosed. Elevated cholesterol rates were particularly high among patients in Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary and Russia. These countries also ranked relatively low on health system and economic indicators.

“We found that patients living in countries in the highest third of gross national income or WHO health system achievement and performance/efficiency indices had a significantly lower likelihood of having elevated total cholesterol levels than patients from countries falling in the lower two-thirds,” said Elizabeth A. Magnuson, Sc.D., lead author of the study and director of the Health Economics and Technology Assessment at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. “Patients from countries falling within the highest third of all countries studied for out-of-pocket health expenditures were more likely to have elevated total cholesterol than patients who had lower out-of-pocket costs.”

“The association between high cholesterol and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses may reflect an inability or unwillingness for patients in countries with higher out-of-pocket expenses to be compliant with prescribed medications.  The recent availability of generic cholesterol-lowering therapy should make out-of-pocket expense less of a barrier “she added.

اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Houssam Nahhas
Translated by: Marcell Shehwaro

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