LDL can get us in a lot of trouble. The good cholesterol is HDL.
Taking a blood sample and sending it to the lab is the simple way doctors test for LDL.
"The most encouraging finding in our study that high LDL levels decreased from 31 to 21 percent during the period of study," said Dr. Elena Kuklina with the Centers for disease control and prevention.
Dr. Kuklina led research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and looked at adults 20 and older with high LDL levels, from 1999 through 2006.
The study, featured this week in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, also reported that during the same study period those using medication to control their high LDL levels increased from 8 to 13 percent.
"When we started our study actually we expected to see large proportion of people unscreened but we were surprised to find out that 40 percent of them had been screened, diagnosed but were untreated or inadequately treated," added Dr. Kuklina.
The screening rates for those with high LDL levels stayed about the same, at less than 70 percent.
Based on the results of the study researchers encourage adults to talk with their doctors about cholesterol screening and the risk factors for heart disease.