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Think again about cholesterol survey - Myths & misconceptions fact sheet

Huge gap in knowledge and understanding of cholesterol

  • While more than one in four adults surveyed are personally worried about heart disease (27%) or stroke (26%), fewer than one in ten (8%) recall their LDL-C at the most recent time they were tested. In addition, over half of those surveyed (56%) weren’t sure if LDL cholesterol is referred to as “bad” cholesterol; only 34% correctly said true while 10% mistakenly said false.
  • When asked whether it’s better to have high levels of LDL cholesterol than HDL cholesterol, 3 out of 5 people (62%) weren’t sure; 12% mistakenly said true and 27% correctly said false.

Heart disease most prevalent, but cancer causes the most worry

  • Those surveyed were the most worried about cancer (45%). Dementia (27%), heart disease (27%) and stroke (26%) were all tied for second.

Which of the following diseases or health conditions, if any,are you personally worried about?

Understanding the factors affecting heart disease

  • Less than two in five of those surveyed (39%) knew that family history is a factor that affects heart health.
  • Though people do realize some key risk factors, including being overweight (72%) and high blood pressure (70%).

North America has a bum wrap

  • Though Europe has the highest prevalence of high cholesterol in the world, 1 with 133.3 million people in the EU5 suffering from high LDL-C in 2011,2 North America is perceived to be the highest (46%) by those surveyed. Europe came in second at 31%.

The cost of cardiovascular disease in the EU

  • While more than half (54%) of those surveyed didn’t know the costs associated with cardiovascular disease in the EU, fewer than one in five (17%) are aware that the cost is significant, around €196 billion a year.2

Behavior change is possible!

  • Fortunately, 89% of people surveyed agree that it is important that people know whether or not they have high LDL (or bad) cholesterol (including 43% who strongly agreed).
  • It is time for everyone to THINK AGAIN ABOUT CHOLESTEROL!

About the Think Again About Cholesterol Survey

Think Again About Cholesterol is a multi-national survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of EAS and sponsored by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. about the general public’s understanding of cholesterol. A total of 12,142 adults, age 25 and over, were surveyed between 25 August and 9 September 2015 in the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.


  1. World Health Organization. «Global Health Obeserviatory (GHO) data, Raised Cholesterol». Accessed July 7, 2015.
  2. Euractiv, “Cardiovascular disease: Social and economic impacts,” published 26/02/2014.
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