Fewer Americans have high cholesterol

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(NBC News Channel) - Americans are lowering their high cholesterol.

New government data shows about 12.5% of adults had high cholesterol last year.

That's down from 18% in 1999.

Researchers say there are several reasons for the improvement.

The biggest -- is the increased use of cholesterol-lowering medications.

But laws that ban trans-fats in foods, and other lifestyle changes have also helped.

High cholesterol is most common among middle aged adults.