According to American researchers, young men with high cholesterol levels have a higher risk of dying from heart disease later in life, and an overall shorter life expectancy than those with normal cholesterol levels. Studies have already demonstrated the relationship between high blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease in middle-aged men, but this is the first large study to find that such a relationship exists in men younger than 40 years old.
Researchers from Northwestern University Medical School, in Chicago, Illinois compared cholesterol levels and deaths from heart disease, blood vessel disease, cancer and all causes among more than 80,000 men under age 40 in three separate groups across the US. The team found that long term, death rates from heart disease were 2 to 3.6 times higher among men with cholesterol levels above 240 mg/dL (6.2 mmol/L) compared with men whose cholesterol levels were at desirable levels (below 200 mg/dL or 5.2 mmol/L). Death rates were 8 to 12 times higher for young men whose cholesterol levels exceeded 280 mg/dL (7.2 mmol/L). This study demonstrates the benefits of reducing high cholesterol levels in younger men. According to Dr. Scott M. Grundy from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, "the current evidence supports recommendations for measurement of cholesterol levels in adults aged 20 years or older at least once every 5 years."
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