Health before age 40 tied to heart risks later in life: study

Health before age 40 tied to heart risks later in life: study

PanARMENIAN.Net - Having higher-than-normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels before age 40 can raise your risk of heart disease later in life more than you might think, CNN reports citing a new study.

A level of "bad" LDL cholesterol at 100 mg/dL or higher as a young adult was associated with a 64% increased risk for coronary heart disease later in life, said the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on Monday, July 15.

Also in the study, a systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or higher was associated with a 37% increased risk of heart failure later in life and a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm Hg or higher was associated with a 21% increased risk.

Normal blood pressure levels are less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic -- or 120/80 -- according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a healthy level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is less than 100mg/dL.

"The main take-home point of the study is for young adults: Don't wait to make healthy choices," said Dr. Andrew Moran, a principal investigator at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York and senior author of the study.

"Our results show that waiting until middle age or older years to improve diet and exercise can't always reverse the cumulative damage made during young adulthood."

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