An estimated 71 million adults in the U.S. report being
diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol, but only about half (34 million) report
being treated and even fewer (23 million) report having their LDL cholesterol
While the importance of "good" (HDL) and "bad" (LDL)
cholesterol levels has been documented, approximately 80 million Americans have
limited health literacy, which puts them at a greater risk for poorer health
outcomes. This means that patients and doctors still need to have
informed and effective conversations about cholesterol's role in heart health.
Former "Good Morning America" co-anchor and
heart health advocate Joan Lunden is taking part in
"Cholesterol Conversations: It Takes 2," a campaign sponsored by Merck.
Cholesterol Conversations: It Takes 2 is designed to help patients and doctors
have productive conversations about the role of cholesterol as a risk factor in
heart health and help them develop a plan of action to help manage their
Ms. Lunden, mother of seven, is deeply invested in this
cause, as her own mother suffered multiple heart attacks. She has served as an
advocate for women's health and, because of her family's history, is dedicated
to living a heart healthy lifestyle.
October is Health Literacy Awareness Month and the
"Cholesterol Conversations: It Takes 2" campaign has developed tools and
resources, including videos and a cholesterol management guide, developed with
health literacy in mind, to help physicians and patients to improve their
communications around cholesterol and heart health. These tools are available at