Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and the second most common cause of death in Korea. Dyslipidemia is among the major modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. To develop effective guidelines for the management of dyslipidemia, it is important to understand the epidemiologic characteristics of dyslipidemia in the target population. The prevalence of dyslipidemia in the Korean population has been reported variously from 30% to higher than 60%, but, in general, the prevalence of dyslipidemia among Koreans has been increasing. Among the subtypes of dyslipidemia, hypercholesterolemia and hyper-LDL cholesterolemia are relatively uncommon in Korea compared to other high-income countries. On the other hand, hypertriglyceridemia and hypo-HDL cholesterolemia are very common in Korea. Recent data shows that total and LDL cholesterol levels are increasing in the Korean population, while triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels have not been changing. As a consequence, the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hyper-LDL cholesterolemia is increasing. These data reinforce the need to make a greater effort toward the prevention and treatment of dyslipidemia.
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