This indicator is currently being revised as new data is available.

In 2017, 12,5% of the population in Switzerland reported that they had high cholesterol levels or that they were taking medication for this. Since 2012, this percentage has been stable. The percentage of women with high cholesterol levels is lower (2017: 10,8%) than that of men (14,3%). The older population has high cholesterol levels more frequently than younger people.

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Blood fats and lipids such as cholesterol are essential to the organism's metabolism. However, some types of cholesterol are mainly good for health and some types have a rather more negative impact. Too much LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol has a particularly negative impact. This promotes atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) and hence the risk of a cardio-vascular disease. The amount of LDL cholesterol in a person's blood can be lowered by a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, sufficient exercise and avoiding nicotine. Medication can also lower cholesterol levels.

The indicator measures the share of the population with high cholesterol levels and hence an increased risk of non-communicable disease.


This indicator was calculated on the basis of data from the Swiss Health Survey.

It shows the percentage of population aged 15 and above who indicated that they had high cholesterol levels and/or took medication for high cholesterol levels in the seven days prior to the interview.

It is based on the SHS's ‘HYPERCHOL’ index, which concerns the two following questions (TCHOL08 and TMEKO029):

  • «At present, is your cholesterol level normal or too high?»
  • «I will read you a list of medicines. Please tell me each time, how often you have taken the medicine in the past 7 days: Medication for cholesterol levels that are too high». Interviewees could choose from the following answers: «Daily/several times/about once in the past 7 days/never». The following answers were included in the index: «Daily/several times/about once in the past 7 days».

An explanation of socio-demographic variables can be found in the document: Definition of the characteristics


Further information

  • Swiss Heart Foundation: Website (in German, French, and Italian)

Media enquiries

Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Tel. +41 58 462 95 05

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