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Health Indicator Report of Blood Cholesterol Screening

High blood cholesterol is a leading risk factor in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (CHD). The risks associated with high blood cholesterol can be reduced by screening and early treatment, which includes medication and lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes could include eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, engaging in moderate to vigorous exercise on a regular basis, and reducing excess weight. Because high blood cholesterol does not produce obvious symptoms, experts recommend that all adults aged 20 years and older have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years to help them take action to prevent or lower their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Percentage of Persons Who Reported Having Their Cholesterol Checked Within the Past Five Years, Utah and U.S., 1989-2013, odd years


Beginning in 2011, BRFSS data include both landline and cell phone respondent data along with a new weighting methodology called iterative proportional fitting, or raking. This methodology utilizes additional demographic information (such as education, race, and marital status) in the weighting procedure. Both of these methodology changes were implemented to account for an increased number of U.S. households without landline phones and an under-representation of certain demographic groups that were not well-represented in the sample. More details about these changes can be found at: [].   Rates are age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.

Data Sources

  • Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health
  • U.S. Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Behavioral Surveillance, CDC Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Data Interpretation Issues

BRFSS data are self-reported. Patients may not be aware of the specific tests conducted in clinical settings on their blood samples. However, BRFSS is a large, population-based survey that provides the only state-level assessment of high blood cholesterol screening and prevalence every 2 years. Due to small numbers, data by race, ethnicity, and geographic area are based on combined years. Some estimates may be statistically unreliable and should be interpreted with care.


Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who have had their cholesterol checked within 5 years.


Number of BRFSS survey respondents aged 18 years and older who have had their cholesterol checked within the past 5 years.


Number of surveyed adults aged 18 years and older.

Healthy People Objective HDS-6:

Increase the proportion of adults who have had their blood cholesterol checked within the preceding 5 years
U.S. Target: 82.1 percent

Other Objectives

CSTE Chronic Disease Indicators

How Are We Doing?

The percentage of adults for Utah who have had a cholesterol check in the shows a slight but steady increase. The most recent estimate in 2013 indicates that 70.5% of Utah adults had at least one cholesterol screening in the past five years, rising from 68.8% in 2009 and from 69.1% in 2011.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Utah has consistently had lower rates of cholesterol screenings compared to other states and the U.S. as a whole. In 2011, 69.1% of Utah adults had had a cholesterol screening in the past five years. U.S. data for 2011 indicates that 74.4% of adults had a cholesterol screening in the past five years. The 2011 data is the most recent data available for the U.S. at this time.

What Is Being Done?

The Healthy Living through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care Program (EPICC) was formed in 2013, consolidating three Utah Department of Health programs (Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, and the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Program). The purpose of the consolidation was to ensure a productive, collaborative, and efficient program focused on health outcomes. EPICC aims to reduce the incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke by targeting risk factors including reducing obesity, increasing physical activity and nutritious food consumption, and improving diabetes and hypertension control. The program is organized around four domains: *Domain 1: Epidemiology and Surveillance--gather, analyze, and disseminate data and information and conduct evaluation to inform, prioritize, deliver, and monitor programs and population health. *Domain 2: Policy and Environment--environmental approaches the promote health and support and reinforce healthful behaviors (statewide in schools and childcare, worksites, and communities). *Domain 3: Health Systems--Health system interventions to improve the effective delivery and use of clinical and other preventive services in order to prevent disease, detect diseases early, and reduce or eliminate risk factors and manage complications. *Domain 4: Community Clinical Linkages--Strategies to improve community-clinical linkages ensuring that communities support and clinics refer patients to programs that improve management of chronic conditions. [[br]] [[br]] The primary program strategies include: *Increasing healthy nutrition and physical activity environments in K-12 schools *Increasing healthy nutrition and physical activity environments in early care and education (childcare/preschool) *Increasing healthy nutrition and physical activity environments in worksites *Improving awareness of prediabetes and hypertension for Utahns *Improving the quality of medical care for people with diabetes and hypertension *Improving the linkages between health care providers and supporting community programs for Utahns with diabetes and hypertension *Improving access and availability to community health programs for Utahns with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity *Improving care and management of students with chronic conditions in Utah schools

Evidence-based Practices

A wide variety of community and medical treatment activities address cholesterol screening and treatment. For example, the Utah Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program supports implementing evidence-based practices in community and clinical settings, specifically highlighting cholesterol control within communities. Therapeutic lifestyle changes are an important approach that incorporates a low-fat, high-fiber diet and physical activity on most days. If cholesterol-lowering drugs are needed, they are used together with therapeutic lifestyle changes. Healthy People 2020 objectives aim to increase awareness of current cholesterol recommendations and provide targets for stakeholders. The Million Hearts initiative, a national federal/private partnership, is a recent, innovative alignment and coordination of clinical and community activities targeting leading causes of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality, including high blood cholesterol. These and other community and clinical activities are important measures to combat the impact of high blood cholesterol nationally.

Health Program Information

In 2012, the Utah Department of Health published a statistical report titled The Impact of Heart Disease and Stroke in Utah. This report describes overall patterns in cardiovascular disease and risk factors at the state and national levels and among Utah sub-populations (age group, sex, race, ethnicity, and Utah Small Area). [[br]] To download the full report, please visit [[br]] Individual sections of the report can be viewed at
Page Content Updated On 07/27/2015, Published on 07/27/2015
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 01 December 2021 15:33:46 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:27 MDT