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Health Indicator Report of Cardiovascular Disease - High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (i.e., heart attack, heart failure, or stroke). Regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet can help prevent high cholesterol and improve cholesterol levels that are not optimal. Smoking can decrease levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, which also increases risk for cardiovascular disease.


The high cholesterol question is administered only in odd years. All prevalence estimates are age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population (except for rates by age group).

Data Source

Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, Center for Health Statistics, New Jersey Department of Health, []

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Jersey adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.


Estimated percentage of New Jersey adults (ages 18 and over) who have ever been told by a doctor, nurse or other health professional that they have high cholesterol.


Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System who have ever been told they have high cholesterol by a health professional.


Number of survey respondents excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure," and "Refused" responses.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of adults with high total blood cholesterol levels

U.S. Target: 13.5 percent

How Are We Doing?

In 2017, the age-adjusted percentage of New Jersey adults who have been told they have high cholesterol by a health professional was about 31.7%. Asians (33.4%) have highest prevalence of diagnosed high cholesterol compared to Whites (31.9%), Blacks (29.8%) and Hispanics (32.2%).

What Is Being Done?

The New Jersey Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program (NJHDSPP) seeks to reduce the burden of high total blood cholesterol in New Jersey residents through evidence-based systems level interventions that support prevention, detection and control of high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Since 2013, HDSPP has partnered with 22 health systems including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Regional Planning Collaboratives (RPCs), and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to: *Increase electronic health records (EHR) adoption *Increase the use of health information technology and team based care *Changing roles and adding new positions to enhance care coordination teams *Improve control measures for high blood pressure *Implement Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDS) *Incorporating clinical guidelines that are a part of a decision support system *Improving usability and applicability of alerts, order sets, registries, and other clinical data available through electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchanges (HIEs) *Promote awareness High Blood Pressure among patients with the condition

Evidence-based Practices

The NJHDSPP reduces the burden of high total cholesterol on New Jersey residents by implementing health systems interventions that increase awareness, promote reporting of clinical quality measures, and increase quality improvement processes such as Team Based Care (TBC). These practices are recommended by the Community Guide for Preventive Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as effective, evidence based practices to reduce the burden of high total cholesterol.
Page Content Updated On 06/19/2019, Published on 06/19/2019
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 20 May 2024 5:20:03 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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