Narrator: This is Science Today. Using a computer
simulation model, researchers have projected the impact
of national cholesterol guidelines between the years
2000 and 2020. Dr. Lee Goldman, a professor of medicine
at the University of California, San Francisco who
led the study, says the results were surprising.
Goldman: We found that the public health benefit
is greatest in people who already have heart disease.
And that came as a bit of a surprise to me because
one would have thought - there are five or ten million
people with heart disease, but that means there are
more than 250 million Americans without heart disease.
And you would have thought somehow that aggregate,
they would have had more benefit than five or ten
million with it.
Narrator: These projections were validated
by results in randomized trials.
Goldman: If there's some unforeseen change
in medical care - someone creates a sugar pill that
wipes out heart disease - obviously our projections
will no longer be accurate. But within the context
of what we currently know today, our projections have
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.