High LDL choles­terol linked to higher risk of heart dis­ease, even for younger adults

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Alert -

NEW RE­SEARCH has found that younger, healthy adults may still have a higher risk of pre­ma­ture death from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease if their lev­els of low-den­sity lipopro­tein-choles­terol (LDL-C) are too high. Con­ducted by re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Texas South­west­ern Med­i­cal Cen­ter along with The Cooper In­sti­tute, the large-scale, long-term study set out to in­ves­ti­gate whether there was an as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween lev­els of LDL choles­terol, also known as the “bad” choles­terol, and non-high-den­sity lipopro­tein-choles­terol (HDL-C), or the “good” choles­terol, and the risk of death from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and coro­nary heart dis­ease in those con­sid­ered to have a low risk of the con­di­tions.

The re­searchers looked at 36,375 young and rel­a­tively healthy adults, free from di­a­betes or car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and with a me­dian age of 42, and fol­lowed them for a pe­riod of 27 years to see if those who were be­lieved to be at a low 10year risk for heart health prob­lems might still need to lower el­e­vated choles­terol ear­lier, to re­duce their risk of fu­ture heart prob­lems. Although pre­vi­ous re­search has al­ready looked at the pos­si­ble as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween lev­els of LDL choles­terol and heart dis­ease, they have typ­i­cally have fo­cused on in­di­vid­u­als at mod­er­ate or high risk for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

The re­sults of the new study showed that even for those con­sid­ered low-risk, LDL lev­els were still independently as­so­ci­ated with an in­creased chance of dy­ing from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. Those with LDL lev­els in the range of 100-159 mg/dL had a 30 to 40 per cent higher risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease death, when com­pared with par­tic­i­pants who had LDL read­ings of un­der 100 mg/dL. Those with LDL lev­els of 160 mg/dL or higher had a 70 to 90 per cent in­creased risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar death.

How­ever, the team did note that these find­ings did not take into ac­count other risk fac­tors. “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,” said Rob- ert Eckel, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion and Di­rec­tor of the Lipid Clinic at Univer­sity of Colorado Hos­pi­tal in Aurora.

“Those with low risk should pur­sue life­style in­ter­ven­tions, such as diet and ex­er­cise, to achieve LDLs lev­els as low as pos­si­ble, prefer­ably un­der 100 mg/dL. Lim­it­ing sat­u­rated fat in­take, main­tain­ing a healthy weight, dis­con­tin­u­ing to­bacco use, and in­creas­ing aer­o­bic ex­er­cise should ap­ply to ev­ery­one,” added the re­searchers. The re­sults were pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion’s jour­nal Cir­cu­la­tion. – Re­laxnews

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