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High cholesterol facing large percentage of Chinese adults

    About 30 to 40 percent of Chinese adults have abnormal levels of fat in their blood, which is a leading cause of coronary heart disease and stroke, medical experts warned over the weekend.

    The high percentage of people suffering from the condition makes it a big public health issue, experts said, adding that in-time intervention is extremely important in controlling the rise of the chronic disease in China.

    After conducting intervention and education for 20 years, Western countries reported that the mortality rate from coronary heart disease dropped by 50 percent. "Controlling cholesterol contributed to 24 percent of mortality reductions," said Dr Lu Guoping from Ruijin Hospital.

    This is just another condition to add to the long list of chronic diseases facing large numbers of Chinese. There are 130 million people in China suffering from diabetes, and 270 million with hypertension, for example.

    Lu said rich and high-cholesterol diets, a lack of exercise, and stress are likely causes for the rise in incidence of chronic diseases in China, stressing that intervention is the key.

    "There are two kinds of intervention: first-tier intervention is to prevent the disease and second-tier is to achieve early detection, diagnosis and treatment for those with the disease," he said, adding that first-tier intervention is far from enough in China. "More education should be given to guide people to change their lifestyles before developing the diseases."

    A big public consultation was organized by Shanghai Medical Association over the weekend, which also held health lectures to promote health care knowledge and clear up some of the public's misunderstandings.