New research shows cholesterol levels are dropping in U.S., but more people need care

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Here's some good health news: Cholesterol levels are dropping in the U.S.

Researchers examined records of people taking cholesterol-lowering medicine between 2005 and 2016, a few years after a big change in treatment guidelines. They found encouraging declines, suggesting the change may be paying off.

Rather than just basing care on patients' level of so-called "bad" cholesterol, doctors now are supposed to take into account additional risk factors such as diabetes in urging medication.

But researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham caution that other high-risk groups still need more care. And many people don't know if their cholesterol is a problem.

Monday's study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.