Lifelong blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring crucial for heart disease prevention

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A study published in PLOS ONE by Nelson Wang, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, emphasizes the significance of monitoring and managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels throughout life to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

This study, involving data from U.K. Biobank participants, highlights the independent risk factors of genetically-predicted systolic blood pressure (SBP) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) for CHD, regardless of age.

Key findings of the study include:

Consistent Association with CHD: The researchers found a steady correlation between higher levels of LDL-C and SBP with increased odds of CHD, particularly in individuals aged 55 years and younger, 60 years and younger, and 65 years and younger.

Early-Life Exposure and CHD Risk: The study showed that exposure to elevated LDL-C and SBP early in life (55 years or younger) was linked with a higher risk of developing CHD later, independent of levels in later life. The odds ratio was 1.68 per 1mmol/L for LDL-C and 1.33 per 10 mm Hg for SBP.

Importance of Lifelong Monitoring: The findings underscore the need for continuous risk factor monitoring throughout one’s life. The study suggests that treatment for elevated SBP and LDL-C should not be delayed, especially in the elderly, based solely on age.

Treatment for Young Individuals: The research advocates for greater emphasis on treating young individuals with elevated SBP and LDL-C. It indicates that the risk of CHD accumulates over time, making early intervention crucial.

This study contributes to the understanding that managing blood pressure and cholesterol is a lifelong endeavor, crucial for preventing CHD.

It challenges the notion that treatment should be less aggressive in older populations and stresses the importance of early intervention in younger individuals with elevated risk factors.

The implications of this research are significant for public health strategies and individual health management, highlighting the need for proactive and continuous care to mitigate the risk of CHD.

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The research findings can be found in PLOS ONE.

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