Young, healthy people still face a risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease if they have high cholesterol levels, according to research published in Circulation. Researchers followed 36,375 participants from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study without heart disease or diabetes for 27 years and compared mortality rates with cardiovascular disease rates and high cholesterol. High LDL and high non-HDL cholesterol levels increased risk of premature death from heart disease by 50 to 80 percent. These risks increased beyond the normal 10-year risk window, suggesting dietary interventions, such as a plant-based diet, may prove necessary to keep cholesterol at healthy levels.
- Abdullah SM, Defina LF, Leonard D, et al. Long-term association of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with cardiovascular mortality in individuals at low 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: Results from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Circulation. Published online August 16, 2018.