New research from the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) suggests that young people are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of factors that promote atherosclerosis, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, emphasizes the need for aggressive control of risk factors to begin at an earlier age.
The results highlight that arteries in younger people are more susceptible to damage due to these factors, possibly because they are less exposed to aging. This call to action is considered a change in primary prevention strategies, urging doctors to intervene early on to prevent cardiovascular disease.
The study also shows that atherosclerosis can be reversed if aggressive interventions are implemented early on. Lifestyle modifications, such as diet changes, reducing alcohol consumption, and lowering salt intake can help control cholesterol levels and blood pressure. If these measures are not effective, pharmacological treatments may be necessary.
The authors urge for early screening for subclinical atherosclerosis and aggressive management of risk factors to alleviate the global burden of cardiovascular disease. They recommend screening for cholesterol or atheroma plaques in the carotid or femoral arteries to identify those at risk and begin aggressive risk factor management.
It is estimated that 30% of people between 40 and 45 years old have atherosclerosis in some arterial segment. This underscores the importance of early intervention and control of risk factors in young adults as a preventive measure.