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Cholesterol Screening
US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation

Screen routinely for lipid disorders among all men aged 35+ and all women aged 45+. Also screen men aged 20-35 and women aged 20-45 if they have other risk factors for coronary heart disease. Treat with lipid-lowering drugs to prevent the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
USPSTF Rating: "A" Recommendation (men 35+ and women 45+ yrs) and "B" Recommendation (men 20-35 and women 20-45 yrs)


  • 21% of adults age 35+ have high cholesterol. Of these, most will develop high cholesterol before age 55.1
  • One out of 4 adults who do not control their high cholesterol will have a cholesterol-attributable heart attack. One out of 3 will die of cholesterol-attributable coronary heart disease.2
  • Long-term use of therapies is necessary to achieve maximum benefits of screening

This service has two Technical Reports, one for middle-aged adults and one for high-risk adults. These reports include details on the literature used and approach taken to estimate this service’s health impact and cost effectiveness.
  1. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2005 With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Hyattsville, Maryland: 2005.
  2. Maciosek, M. V.; Edwards, N. M.; Nelson, W. W., et al. Screening for high cholesterol. Tecnical report prepared for the National Commission on Prevention Priorities. 2007.