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December 19, 1990

Cholesterol 'War': Dietitians, Physicians Team Up

JAMA. 1990;264(23):2975-2976. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450230007002

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MORE AND MORE physicians are turning to the counsel of dietitians to help their patients reduce serum cholesterol concentrations.

The trend is largely due to the recommendations of the National Cholesterol Education Project, a consortium of more than 40 health and medical organizations formed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md. The project's 1988 report advocates diet as the cornerstone of prevention and treatment of hypercholesterolemia, and specifically recommends the counsel of a registered dietitian if the patient is unable to bring his or her cholesterol concentration within healthy levels after 3 months of dietary therapy (Arch Intern Med. 1988;148:36-69).

Approximately 84 million people in the United States are believed to have cholesterol levels above 5.15 mmol/L (200 mg/dL), the uppermost limit in the opinion of many experts for "desirable blood cholesterol." A large percentage of these people could control their cholesterol level through diet, yet simply