15 U.S. Cities Suffering From High Cholesterol

Huntsville Alabama cityscape skyline
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 remain conscious of our health — and take the necessary steps to maintain it.

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

Both obesity and diabetes — which are similarly made worse by unhealthy eating — show up more commonly in places where cholesterol levels are high.

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

Locations were ranked based on the proportion of adults who were ever told by a health care professional that they had high cholesterol. In the event of a tie, the location with the higher prevalence of coronary heart disease (one of the most common adverse health conditions resulting from high cholesterol) was ranked higher.

Here are the U.S. cities suffering the most from high cholesterol.

15. Nashville-Davidson, TN

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

14. New Orleans, LA

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

13. Wichita, KS

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

12. Tampa, FL

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

11. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY

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

10. Memphis, TN

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

9. Anaheim, CA

rides Paradise Pier Anaheim California reflected lake
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high cholesterol: 31.3%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had coronary heart disease: 5.6%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had a stroke: 2.9%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high blood pressure: 28.4%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 24.4%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had diabetes: 10.6%
  • Percentage of adults who smoke: 12.4%

8. Charlotte, NC

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

7. Dallas, TX

Aneese / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high cholesterol: 32.1%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had coronary heart disease: 7.0%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had a stroke: 3.9%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high blood pressure: 35.6%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 37.3%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had diabetes: 12.7%
  • Percentage of adults who smoke: 17.0%

6. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Oklahoma
Valiik30 / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high cholesterol: 32.2%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had coronary heart disease: 7.4%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had a stroke: 3.7%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high blood pressure: 35.8%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 33.9%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had diabetes: 12.2%
  • Percentage of adults who smoke: 20.6%

5. Detroit, MI

Detroit, Michigan
Susanne Pommer / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high cholesterol: 32.3%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had coronary heart disease: 8.8%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had a stroke: 6.1%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high blood pressure: 46.7%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 44.1%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had diabetes: 18.2%
  • Percentage of adults who smoke: 29.3%

4. Arlington, TX

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

3. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma traffic highways
Gerson Repreza / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high cholesterol: 32.5%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had coronary heart disease: 7.4%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had a stroke: 3.6%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high blood pressure: 36.3%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 36.5%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had diabetes: 11.9%
  • Percentage of adults who smoke: 19.5%

2. Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth Texas
Barbara Smyers / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high cholesterol: 32.8%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had coronary heart disease: 7.1%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had a stroke: 3.7%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had high blood pressure: 35.7%
  • Percentage of adults who are obese: 35.2%
  • Percentage of adults who ever had diabetes: 13.5%
  • Percentage of adults who smoke: 17.0%

1. Houston, TX

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

Methodology

A man studies financial data at his computer
NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis is from the CDC’s Places and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) datasets.

To identify the locations with the most residents with high cholesterol, researchers ranked locations based on the proportion of adults who were ever told by a health care professional that they had high cholesterol (among adults who had their cholesterol checked within the past five years).

In the event of a tie, the location with the higher prevalence of coronary heart disease (one of the most common adverse health conditions resulting from high cholesterol) was ranked higher.

The statistics reported are the latest available for each geography type. The city-level data is from the Places 2020 data release, which reflects statistics from 2018. The state- and national-level data is from the BRFSS 2020 data release, which reflects statistics from 2019.

To improve relevance, only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included in the analysis.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.