A recent study by researchers at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) has shed light on the importance of controlling risk factors for atherosclerosis in young people. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that arteries in younger people are more vulnerable to damage due to high cholesterol and blood pressure, possibly because they are less exposed to aging.
The results of this study emphasize the need for aggressive control of risk factors to begin at an earlier age, suggesting a change in primary prevention strategies. The authors urge for early screening for subclinical atherosclerosis and aggressive management of risk factors to alleviate the global burden of cardiovascular disease. They recommend screening for cholesterol or atheroma plaques in the carotid or femoral arteries to identify those at risk and begin aggressive risk factor management.
It is estimated that 30% of people between 40 and 45 years old have atherosclerosis in some arterial segment. This underscores the importance of early intervention and control of risk factors in young adults as a preventive measure. Lifestyle modifications, such as diet changes, reducing alcohol consumption, and lowering salt intake can help control cholesterol levels and blood pressure. If these measures are not effective, pharmacological treatments may be necessary.
The research suggests that atherosclerosis can be reversed, especially if aggressive interventions are implemented early on. This call to action from researchers highlights the importance of taking proactive steps to prevent cardiovascular disease at an early age, before it becomes more difficult and costly to treat later on.