Hypercholesterolemia Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment and Control Among Adults in Malaysia: The 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey, Malaysia

  •  Halizah Mat Rifin    
  •  Tania Gayle Robert Lourdes    
  •  Nur Liana Abdul Majid    
  •  Hamizatul Akmal Abd Hamid    
  •  Wan Shakira Rodzlan Hasani    
  •  Miaw Yn Ling    
  •  Thamil Arasu Saminathan    
  •  Hasimah Ismail    
  •  Muhammad Fadhli Mohd Yusoff    
  •  Mohd. Azahadi Omar    


BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Dyslipidaemia is one of the main modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Therefore, it is crucial to examine the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypercholesterolemia and its associated factors among adults in Malaysia.

METHODS: We used data from 19,935 respondents aged 18 years and above who responded to the cholesterol module in the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015. The survey employed a two-stage stratified sampling to select a representative sample of Malaysian adults. Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression were used to analyse the data.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of hypercholesterolemia was 47.7%. Among those who were diagnosed to have hypercholesterolemia, only 19.2% were aware of their hypercholesterolemia status. Only a mere 12.7% (95% CI: 12.4 -13.1) among those who were aware were on treatment and out of which only 53.7% (95% CI: 50.1-57.2) had their cholesterol levels controlled. The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia was associated with gender, age, ethnicity, education level, occupation, marital status, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Awareness and treatment of hypercholesterolemia saw a similar pattern (except for gender and locality). For control of hypercholesterolemia, the female gender and secondary education levels were the only significant associated factors.

CONCLUSION: The overall high prevalence of hypercholesterolemia in addition to poor awareness, treatment and control are significant public health problems. Intensified health campaigns and programmes especially among high-risk groups should be implemented in order to reduce or prevent complications of hypercholesterolemia in the near future.

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