Dangers of high cholesterol start younger

22 August 2018

Written by: Natasha Pietrobuono

Premature heart disease has a connection to higher levels of cholesterol, even in younger people, says new research.

New research has found that young people with high levels of cholesterol can see an increased risk of cardiovascular disease over their lifetime.

The recent findings, which appeared in the medical journal Circulation, were from a study considering the links between low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, and an increased risk of premature death between both cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.

The study aimed to find out if individuals suffering from cardiovascular or coronary heart disease would have a better chance of prevention by learning about their cholesterol levels earlier in life.

Dr Robert Eckel, former president of the American Heart Association, told Medical News Today that individuals with high cholesterol rates at a younger age will have a bigger burden of cardiovascular disease as they age.

“This research highlights the need to educate (people) of any age on the risks of elevated cholesterol, and ways to keep cholesterol at a healthy level throughout life,” Dr Eckel said.

Research from Healthline mentions that whilst HDL is also known as “good cholesterol” helping with liver disposal, it also says that LDL is known as the “bad cholesterol” as too much inside your bloodstream can cause your arteries to clog.

More importantly, the restricted blood flow to the heart caused by high cholesterol levels explains why LDL is a major health risk factor for heart disease.

The conducted research involved 36,375 participants, with 72 per cent being men with the average age of 42-years-old, and focused on mostly healthy individuals.

All individuals that participated were revealed to be clear of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes at baseline, with health follow-ups for a 27 year period.

Overall, the research found that there were 1,086 deaths related to cardiovascular disease and 598 coronary heart disease-related deaths within the study cohort.

Dr Shuaib Abdullah, the lead study author from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, says that the results shine a light on the risk of high cholesterol at all ages.

“Our study demonstrates that having a low 10-year estimated cardiovascular disease risk does not eliminate the risk posed by elevated LDL over the course of a lifetime,” Dr Abdullah said.