Slightly raised cholesterol in mid-life significantly increases a person's risk of heart disease

Having even slightly raised cholesterol in mid-life significantly increases a person’s risk of heart disease, research reveals.

For every decade a person has even mildly elevated cholesterol between the ages of 35 and 55, their risk of heart disease could go up by nearly 40%, the study found.

Leaving cholesterol unchecked is not a wise option, say the authors who followed nearly 1,500 people.

What we do to our blood vessels in our 20s, 30s and 40s lays the foundation for disease in later life, and if we wait until our 50s or 60s to think about heart disease prevention..

Too much cholesterol in your blood can lead to a gradual build-up of fatty material in the walls of your blood vessels and restrict the flow of blood to your heart, brain and body.

In time, your arteries can become so diseased that you experience heart pain, called angina, or suffer a heart attack.

Around a third of deaths in the UK are caused by cardiovascular disease, accounting for more than 180,000 deaths each year.

Cholesterol

The government recommends that total cholesterol levels should be:

5mmol/L (193mg/dl) or less for healthy adults

4mmol/L (154mg/dl) or less for those at high risk

In the UK in 2011, around 50% of adults had a cholesterol level above 5mmol/L.

Healthy Performance offer cholesterol checks as part of their health screening programmes.  For more information please contact the team.

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