High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Can Lead to Heart Attack

Folks with high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol before age 40 usually tend to have a heart attack later in life than other adults, a new study suggests.

The analysis pooled data from six research involving a total of 36,030 folks starting when individuals have been 53 years old on average, researchers tracked them to see who had heart attacks, strokes, or heart failure.

By the time half of the individuals had been tracked for at least 17 years, individuals who had high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol before age 40 – that’s, higher than about 129 milligrams per deciliter of blood – were 64% more likely to have had events like heart attacks compared to folks with low LDL levels in early adulthood.

The higher limit of normal blood pressure is 120/80. Younger adults who had high systolic blood pressure – the “top number” – were 37% more prone to develop heart failure later in life. And young adults who had elevated diastolic blood pressure – the “bottom number” – had been 21% more likely to develop heart failure afterward.

“Many young adults feel OK, or they’re willing to think–I am OK now, I’ll make healthful choices later when I’m older,” stated Dr. Andrew Moran, senior author of the research and a researcher at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

“Heart failure and heart attacks are the results of years of exposure to risk elements like high blood pressure and cholesterol,” stated Dr. Samuel Gidding, coauthor of an editorial accompanying the research and medical director of the FH (Familial Hypercholesterolemia) Foundation in Pasadena, California.

“Both trigger the buildup of fat within the coronary arteries beginning in childhood; this leads to a heart attack later in life,” Gidding mentioned by email. “High blood pressure puts much strain on the heart, and adapting to that stress leads to heart failure.”

Emily Rodriguez

Emily Rodriguez

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