Health Update: Cholesterol kits under question

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Indy Lifestyle Online
WHILE most middle-class, middle-aged Americans know their blood cholesterol levels, very few Britons do, although home cholesterol-testing kits have been widely available for almost six months.

Now an editorial in the Lancet has questioned their value, partly because cholesterol's role in development of heart disease is controversial - a raised level is only one of many risk factors. It also points out that testing would be more effective if carried out by medical staff, who are better able to interpret results, and that the kit itself is difficult to use.

Boots may argue that anything which increases the awareness of the risks associated with heart disease is good. But heart disease is increasingly a disease of the less well-off, who are unlikely to spend pounds 7.99 on a kit.