Health

High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Before Age 55 May Cause Lasting Damage

High cholesterol and high blood pressure before the age of 55 may have a lasting impact on your chances of developing heart disease later in life, according to a new study.

Published December 20 in the scientific journal PLoS One, the analysis of health data from nearly 300,000 adults found that elevated systolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) in early to middle life was associated with increased coronary heart disease risk even if individuals reduced these measures when they were older.

“The earlier in life your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are higher, the more damage you’re accruing to your heart and vascular system,” says Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, a cardiologist and the chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

“So it is critically important to not only address these things in midlife, it’s even more important to address them in early life and to make sure you’re keeping these measures as low as possible for as long as possible,” adds Dr. Lloyd-Jones, who was not involved in the new research.

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