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Cholesterol testing important for young adults, study finds

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Young adults may benefit from cholesterol testing as much as middle aged individuals, contrary to popular belief. A new study has found that unhealthy cholesterol levels in early adulthood may accurately predict cardiovascular disease risk later in life.

Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco administered cholesterol testing to 3,258 men and women between the ages of 18 and 30. They then tracked the medical records of the participants for a period of 20 years and continued to monitor cholesterol levels.

The results of the study showed that individuals who had high cholesterol in early adulthood were more likely to have coronary artery calcium, which are buildups of particles that are known to contribute to the development of heart disease.

"In order to prevent heart disease and stroke more effectively, we should be thinking about cholesterol at a younger age," said Mark Pletcher, who led the investigation. "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."

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