Nearly 100 million Americans are currently at risk for heart disease.
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of U.S. adults have either unhealthy cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.
In addition, approximately one-third of Americans have a high cholesterol issue.
Also, federal health officials said very large numbers are not receiving treatment for their high cholesterol.
The CDC stated that two-thirds of adults with high cholesterol and half with high blood pressure are not being treated effectively. Health officials believe many are not doing enough to control their risks and the fragmented U.S. health care system is partly to blame.
In a telephone press conference, CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said, "In fact, more than 80 percent of people who have out-of-control blood pressure or out-of-control cholesterol do have public or private health insurance."
The CDC report, which is based on the most recent available survey data, found that people without health insurance are the least likely to have their cholesterol or blood pressure under control; even those with good health insurance are not doing everything they can.
Frieden also said, "Although we're making some progress, the United States is failing to prevent the leading cause of death, cardiovascular disease, despite the existence of low-cost, highly effective treatments."
The most common causes of heart disease are unhealthy cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. In most developed countries, heart disease is the number one killer. Heart disease can be prevented by diet and exercise and pharmaceutical drugs currently on the market.
The CDC report also found that one-third of adults have high blood pressure, a third of them do not get treated for it and half do not have it fully under control.
Also, the unhealthy cholesterol levels/figures are worse. A third of U.S. adults have poor cholesterol readings, half of them are not treated for it and two-thirds do not have their cholesterol fully controlled.