The study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology highlights the importance of controlling risk factors for atherosclerosis at an earlier age. Researchers at the National Cardiovascular Research Center (CNIC) found that young people are more susceptible to damage from factors that promote atherosclerosis, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.
The study calls for a shift in primary prevention strategies to begin at an earlier age, with aggressive control of risk factors being necessary to prevent cardiovascular disease. It suggests that lifestyle changes, such as dietary changes, reducing alcohol consumption and reducing salt intake, can help control cholesterol levels and blood pressure. If these measures are not effective, pharmacological treatments may be needed.
The authors recommend early screening for subclinical atherosclerosis and aggressive management of risk factors to reduce the global burden of cardiovascular disease. They suggest screening for cholesterol or atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid or femoral arteries to identify those at risk and initiate aggressive risk factor management.
It is estimated that 30% of people between the ages of 40 and 45 have atherosclerosis in some segment of the arteries. This highlights the importance of early intervention and control of risk factors in young adults as a preventive measure against cardiovascular disease.