Increased LDL cholesterol is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent long-term study of cholesterol levels looked at how much elevated LDL cholesterol levels affect the risk for cardiovascular disease over time.
The research looked at a 32-year study conducted from 1984-2016 that recorded cholesterol levels in participants (all of whom started the study when they were in the 18–30-year age range). The outcome of the original study focused on the outcomes of
- Transient ischemic attacks
- Coronary heart disease
- Hospitalizations due to heart failure
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Cardiac revascularizations
What is LDL Cholesterol?
The two major types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol through the body have gotten the most attention in research and clinical reports. These are high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is commonly referred to as the ‘bad’ cholesterol by the general populace. For reference, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is considered the ‘good’ cholesterol.
LDL Cholesterol Over Time
After the first 16-year follow-up (year 2000), 275 participants over age 40 had already had an incident with cardiovascular disease. The results of this group showed a clear correlation with higher levels of LDL cholesterol.
Data from the study suggests the risk for cardiovascular disease depends on cumulative prior exposure to elevated blood LDL-C and the time course of accumulation. Having elevated LDL-C starting at a younger age, compared with older age, results in a greater risk, emphasizing the importance of optimal LDL-C starting early in life.
Research at Biofortis
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