WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey conducted by AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) of more than 2000 American adults reveals that only 1 in 5 (20 percent) respondents consider themselves at increased risk for atherosclerosis–a progressive disease where plaque builds up in the arteries slowly over time.* The survey also revealed that only 21 percent of respondents could correctly identify all 6 surveyed atherosclerosis risk factors (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, family history of early heart disease, smoking and obesity). With these statistics in mind, AstraZeneca is urging Americans to embrace American Heart Month (February) by taking proactive steps to learn more about their health, this disease and whether they may be at risk. To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/60010-astrazeneca-atherosclerosis-education-american-heart-month (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130214/MM47553-INFO ) This is particularly important because plaque buildup over time can lead to narrowing of the arteries—one of the most common causes of heart disease. For adults living with high cholesterol plus at least one additional risk factor—those who are at increased risk for atherosclerosis—it's even more important to understand which risk factors can be moderated. "Heart Month is an ideal time for patients to reflect upon their health and talk with their doctor to learn about the risk factors for plaque buildup in arteries and whether they may be at increased risk for atherosclerosis," said Dr. Philip de Vane, Executive Director of Medical Affairs and Strategic Development, AstraZeneca. "This education can be extremely valuable for adults, particularly those who are unaware of their increased risk, and may help mitigate the progression of this disease." AstraZeneca is committed to helping increase awareness of high cholesterol and other risk factors that can contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis among adults, particularly those at increased risk. They have a number of resources available to consumers who want to learn more about high cholesterol and other risk factors for plaque buildup in arteries, or to get healthy lifestyle tips or questions to ask their doctors. These materials can be accessed by visiting www.CRESTOR.com. One of these resources is the Cholesterol Roadmap, which using the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines, can help patients to start to identify their LDL-cholesterol goal based on their current health and lifestyle, and develop a list of customized questions for patients to print out and discuss with their physicians along with the initial cholesterol goal assessment. A cholesterol-management plan to help patients reach their cholesterol goals should begin with lifestyle changes, which can include quitting smoking, eating healthy foods and exercising more often. However, for some people, diet and exercise alone may not be enough to lower high cholesterol, so it is important that they talk with their health care providers about their treatment options.