24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
More Social Media Use, More Fake COVID NewsSkip the 'Maskne,' Not the MaskObesity Ups Odds for Severe COVID-19, But Age MattersSeven States Join Pact to Speed Coronavirus TestingStudy Casts Doubt on Value of Cholesterol DrugsCOVID-19 Fears Had Sick, Injured Americans Avoiding ERsCancer Diagnoses Plunge as Americans Avoid Screening During PandemicMysterious Paralyzing Illness in Kids Is Set to Return, CDC WarnsMany Older Americans Staying Strong in the PandemicCoronavirus Cases Now Climbing in the MidwestCould the First Drug That Slows Arthritis Be Here?Schools Can Reopen Safely If Precautions in Place, Australian Study ShowsFace Masks, Yes, But Don't Forget Hand-Washing TooEven With PPE, Risk of COVID-19 Still High for Frontline WorkersCoronavirus Pandemic Becoming Far More Widespread, Birx SaysGuard Against Lyme Disease This SummerKids 'Efficient' Transmitters as COVID-19 Raced Through a Georgia Summer CampCollege Students Will Need COVID Tests Every 2-3 Days for Campus Safety: StudyAHA News: Sustained High Blood Pressure May Damage Brain VesselsAnother Side Effect of COVID-19 -- Lasting Hearing Problems?Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane SeasonStudy Reveals How Coronavirus Travels IndoorsNew Study Sheds Doubt on Notion Kids Aren't COVID-19 SpreadersAHA News: Are Virtual Doctor Visits Safe for Discharged Heart Failure Patients?Double Lung Transplants Save Lives of Sickest COVID PatientsGynecological Cancers Not a Risk for Severe COVID-19: Study11 States Could Face ICU Doc Shortages as Coronavirus Cases SurgeWildfire Pollution Puts Kidney Patients at RiskAmerica's Progress Against Early Cardiovascular Death Is SlowingAHA News: 5 Easy Ways to Keep Tabs on Heart HealthGene Study Shows How Coronavirus Swept Through the Diamond PrincessOne Disease Mosquitoes Don't Spread: CoronavirusU.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Surges Past 150,000Do Bedbugs Dirty the Air Inside Your Home?AHA News: New Test May Predict Who Develops Certain Type of Heart FailureLess Smoking, Drinking Means Fewer Hip Fractures for AmericansYet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are SafeCommon Diabetes Meds Linked to Higher Odds for a Serious ComplicationSurvivors' COVID Antibodies May Provide a Powerful GiftConcussion Ups Odds for Many Brain ConditionsFinal Coronavirus Vaccine Trials Get UnderwayAHA News: Flu Shot May Help Protect Vulnerable Hospital Patients From Heart Attack, Mini-StrokeCOVID-19 'Super Spreaders' Quickly Fill Room With Virus -- But Masks HelpIn Rush to Publish, Most COVID-19 Research Isn't Reliable, Experts SayGlaucoma Checkups Fall by the Wayside During PandemicLab-Created Virus Can Help COVID-19 Research, Developers SayHow to Counter the Anti-Mask Backlash? Empathy.States With Soaring COVID Cases Must Take Action, U.S. Health Officials SayWhat Puts You at High Risk of Midlife Mental Decline?AHA News: Controlling Diabetes Takes on Greater Urgency During COVID-19 Pandemic
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


Especially in the Young, Cholesterol Is No Friend to the Heart

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Dec 4th 2019

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Rising levels of cholesterol among young adults is strongly tied to long-term odds for the number one killer, heart disease, a new study finds.

The new global study involved data on more than 400,000 people from 38 different trials. Their health was tracked for an average of more than 13 years, but some were followed for up to 43 years.

The researchers looked especially at the effect of blood levels of all forms of cholesterol except "good" HDL cholesterol.

Reporting Dec. 3 in The Lancet, the investigators found that, regardless of age, higher levels of this "non-HDL" cholesterol were tied to raised odds for heart disease, as well as fatalities due to heart disease.

The effect was especially pronounced in people who were young when their cholesterol levels began to rise -- probably because their cardiovascular systems were then taxed by cholesterol for many years to come.

For example, among men younger than 45, the risk of having a fatal or nonfatal heart disease or stroke by the age of 75 was just 12% for those with low non-HDL cholesterol. But the risk rose to 43% for those with high levels, the study found.

Among women younger than 45, those percentages were 6% and 24%, respectively.

However, healthy lifestyle changes -- such as better diets and exercise -- could greatly lower cholesterol levels and a person's lifetime risk of heart trouble, the study authors said.

For example, among adults younger than 45 with at least two heart disease risk factors, cutting non-HDL cholesterol levels in half cut their odds of later-life heart illness from about 16% to 4% among women, and from about 29% to 6% among men, the study found.

"This reduction in risk is larger the sooner cholesterol levels are reduced," study co-author Stefan Blankenberg, of the German Center for Cardiovascular Research, in Germany, added in a journal news release.

Early and intensive action to reduce non-HDL cholesterol levels could reverse initial narrowing of the arteries, but it's not clear whether slightly increased or normal cholesterol levels affect heart disease risk, or at which levels treatment should be recommended, particularly in younger adults, the study authors said.

Two U.S. heart experts unconnected to the study agreed that high levels of non-HDL cholesterol are problematic at any age.

For younger patients, "this study demonstrated that long-term exposure to high levels of non-HDL cholesterol with at least two other risk factors would cause an increased long-term risk of cardiovascular disease -- even more than if this elevation occurred after age 45," noted Dr. Guy Mintz. He directs cardiovascular health at Northwell Health's Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, in Manhasset, N.Y.

Using this data to help warn young patients of the dangers "can be very effective in motivating patients to change," Mintz believes.

So what should people in their 30s and 40s do if they find themselves with high levels of non-HDL cholesterol?

"Rather than the early use of medications, I feel that patients with this type of risk profile would benefit from focused lifestyle modification -- including weight loss, regular exercise and improvement of their metabolic state, including pre-diabetes -- before committing to very long-term statin drug therapy," Mintz advised.

Dr. Eugenia Gianos directs women's heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Reading over the new study she said it "confirms the relationship between exposure to elevated cholesterol over time and risk of developing cardiovascular disease."

The data is also a "key reminder that we need to start cardiovascular prevention efforts early in life to avoid the downstream effects," Gianos said. "Whether you get there with lifestyle or medication, it is imperative to substantially reduce lipid levels to reduce risk."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on heart disease prevention.