High Cholesterol Early in Life Boosts Heart Disease Risk

High Cholesterol Early in Life Boosts Heart Disease Risk

High levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. People may worry more about their cholesterol levels when they age, but new research suggests that they should take preventive action much earlier.

ldl cholesterol chart

You may need to start monitoring your cholesterol levels earlier in life to avoid cardiovascular disease, a new study suggests.

A new study — the findings of which appear in the journal Circulation — suggests that people with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol early in life may experience an increased lifetime risk of death related to cardiovascular disease (CVD).

LDL cholesterol can increase cardiovascular risk at high levels because it leads to lipid buildup in the arteries, which can affect the blood flow to and from the heart.

In the new study, which was of an observational nature, the scientists considered the links between LDL cholesterol levels, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, and the risk of premature death related to CVD and coronary heart disease (CHD).

Specifically, the researchers wanted to find out whether individuals currently considered at low risk of CVD or CHD for the coming 10 years may benefit from learning about their cholesterol levels earlier in life and keeping them in check so as to prevent the development of complications.

“High cholesterol at younger ages means there will be a greater burden of cardiovascular disease as these individuals age. This research highlights the need to educate Americans of any age on the risks of elevated cholesterol, and ways to keep cholesterol at a healthy level throughout life.”- Dr. Robert Eckel, the former president of the American Heart Association (AHA)