High Cholesterol In 30s, 40s, Increases Later Risk Of Heart Disease

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , /

Although most people with heart disease
don’t have heart attacks until their 60s or 70s, the foundation for heart disease,
or the buildup of cholesterol plaques in our arteries that later turn
into heart attacks starts much earlier on. So the way we framed our question was how
does having a prolonged exposure to high blood cholesterol in your 30s and 40s affect your future risk of heart
disease in your 50s, 60s and 70s. Our results were striking. Adults with 11 or more years of exposure
to high blood cholesterol by the age of 55, meaning they would have been diagnosed
with high cholesterol in their 40s, had nearly four-fold increase risk of
heart disease after the age of 55, compared to adults who did
not have high cholesterol. So said another way, if you have two adults both with
the exact same health profile, the same blood pressures and the same
cholesterol measurements at the age of 55. But one has had a mildly elevated
cholesterol for 11 years and the other has only had 1 year
of elevated cholesterol. The person with the longer duration
of exposure to high cholesterol has a 40% increased chance of heart
attack or heart disease in the future compared to the person who was
only diagnosed in the last year. Even if you control everything else in
your life, you maintain a healthy weight, you don’t have diabetes, you don’t smoke,
and your blood pressure is controlled. Having high blood cholesterol in your
30s and 40s is still putting you at substantially increased risk
of heart disease in the future.

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