15 American cities suffer from high cholesterol


By Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on Sidecar Health.

With Healthy Aging Month in August and National Cholesterol Education Month in September, there’s no better time to stay conscious of our health — and take the necessary steps to maintain it.

While high cholesterol can be caused by genetic factors, it is often caused by poor diet, lack of physical activity, and other unhealthy behaviors.

Obesity and diabetes, which are made worse by unhealthy eating, are more common in places where cholesterol levels are high.

To find the states and cities with the highest levels of cholesterol, researchers at Sidecar Health used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The sites were ranked based on the percentage of adults who were told by a healthcare professional that they had high cholesterol. In a tie, coronary artery disease prevalence (one of the most common adverse health conditions caused by high cholesterol) ranked highest.

Here are the US cities that suffer the most from high cholesterol.

15. Nashville Davidson, Tennessee

House in Nashville, Tennessee
eakkarat rangram / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 30.7%
  • Percentage of adults with coronary heart disease: 6.5%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.4%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 35.6%
  • Percentage of obese adults: 32.1%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 11.2%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 20.9%

14. New Orleans, Los Angeles

New Orleans
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 30.9%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 6.9%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 4.5%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 40.0%
  • Percentage of obese adults: 33.7%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 13.9%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 19.8%

13. Wichita, KS

Wichita, Kansas
KSwinicki / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 31.0%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 6.7%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.3%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 33.5%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 36.5%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 12.4%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 20.1%

12. Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
kevin-j-king / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 31.0%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 6.8%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.7%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 34.2%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 34.0%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 12.9%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 19.0%

11. Louisville / Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 31.2%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 6.9%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.0%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 38.0%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 31.3%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 10.7%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 23.2%

10. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 31.2%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 7.7%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 5.0%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 40.6%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 37.0%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 16.1%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 24.3%

9. Anaheim, California

Riding Paradise Pier Anaheim California Reflecting Lake
James Kirkikes / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 31.3%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 5.6%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 2.9%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 28.4%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 24.4%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 10.6%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 12.4%

8. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Kevin M McCarthy / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 31.5%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 5.9%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.3%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 33.0%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 30.4%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 10.3%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 15.7%

7. Dallas, Texas

Aneese / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 32.1%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 7.0%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.9%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 35.6%
  • Percentage of obese adults: 37.3%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 12.7%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 17.0%

6. Tulsa, okay

Tulsa Oklahoma
Select 30 / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 32.2%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 7.4%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.7%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 35.8%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 33.9%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 12.2%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 20.6%

5. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Susan Bomer / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 32.3%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 8.8%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 6.1%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 46.7%
  • Percentage of obese adults: 44.1%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 18.2%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 29.3%

4. Arlington, Texas

Arlington, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 32.4%
  • Percentage of adults with coronary heart disease: 6.5%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.2%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 34.6%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 33.5%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 12.1%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 16.2%

3. Oklahoma City, okay

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma's Highway Traffic
Gerson Rebreza / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 32.5%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 7.4%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.6%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 36.3%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 36.5%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 11.9%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 19.5%

2. Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth Texas
Barbara Smyrs / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 32.8%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 7.1%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.7%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 35.7%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 35.2%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 13.5%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 17.0%

1. Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas skyline
Silvio Liguti / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults with high cholesterol: 33.2%
  • Percentage of adults who developed coronary heart disease: 7.1%
  • Percentage of adults who have had a stroke: 3.8%
  • Percentage of adults with high blood pressure: 33.4%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 37.7%
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes: 14.9%
  • Percentage of adult smokers: 16.7%

methodology

A man studies financial data on his computer
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The data used in this analysis are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) datasets.

To determine which sites had the most populations with high cholesterol, researchers ranked the sites based on the proportion of adults who were told by a healthcare professional that they had high cholesterol (among adults who had their cholesterol checked within the past five years).

In a tie, coronary artery disease prevalence (one of the most common adverse health conditions caused by high cholesterol) ranked highest.

Reported statistics are the most recent available for each geographic type. Citywide data is from the Places Data 2020 release, which reflects statistics from 2018. The data at the state and national level is from the BRFSS 2020 data release, which reflects statistics from 2019.

To improve relevance, cities with a population of at least 100,000 inhabitants were included in the analysis.

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