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Aug 9, 2010

Nonoptimal Lipids Commonly Present in Young Adults and Coronary Calcium Later in Life

A study out of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, has correlated dyslipidemia levels in young adults and their risk for coronary heart disease in their middle ages. In a study of over 2000 people of various ages from 18-30 years old, black and white, male and female; the participants were followed for 20 years to evaluate lipid levels and risks for heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and coronary calcium were measured in multiple serum measurements over the 20 year span. Coronary calcium is considered a strong predictor of future coronary heart disease.

After 2 decades, participants who maintained optimal levels of less than 100 LDL, greater than 60 HDL, and triglycerides less than 150, the risk of heart disease was calculated at 8%. In participants who had non optimal levels of these measurements, the risk increased to 44%, universally across race and gender. This study shows that the earlier cholesterol levels are monitored and in optimal range, the less risk one has for coronary atherosclerosis in the middle years of life.

Dr. Kerry Ferguson