Young Adults Need To Watch Their Cholesterol

A new study reveals that young adults should be monitoring their cholesterol

According to a recent report released, even young adults need to be aware of their cholesterol level.

A group of researchers who followed individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 for 20 years have reported to have found that higher cholesterol at an early age can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke for individuals later in life. This is due to the fact that unhealthy levels of cholesterol may be damaging their arteries as early as 20 years of age.

“We don’t usually worry too much about heart disease risk until a person is in middle age because it’s rare to have a heart attack in young adulthood,” said the leader of the study, Dr. Mark Pletcher. “Young adulthood also matters. The damage you sustain then to your coronary arteries probably is going to catch up with you later.”

According to the researchers for the study, a higher cholesterol level in young adults does not mean that these individuals should be on medication to lower their levels. They advised these individuals to make sure that they exercise regularly and watch what they eat.

“Diet and exercise may be more important than cholesterol-lowering medication in young adults. We don’t have enough direct data in terms of effectiveness and safety of treatment of young adults to recommend that,” said Pletcher.

According to the American Heart Association recommendations, everyone 20-years-old and older should test their cholesterol once every five years. Individuals at risk for heart disease are those with a level of 200 milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. Thanks to new healthcare legislation that was passed in March this should be relatively easy to do because health insurance plans must pay for preventive services. These services include cholesterol screening, although many do already cover this screening.

Aug 4th, 2010