By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The message about the importance of controlling cholesterol has been driven home by everyone from your local physician to the American Heart Association for decades.

Clearly many of us have a long way to go when it comes to keeping our weight down and making lifestyle changes but, when it comes to medications, there has definitely been an impact. The number of Americans over 40 who take cholesterol-lowering drugs has climbed in the past decade – from around 20% in 2003 to around 28% in 2012.

Cholesterol-busting statins have led the charge, with use in people over 40 jumping from 18% in 2003 to 26% in 2012.

The most popular medications have been the statins.