Author Affiliation: Center for Human Nutrition, Departments of Clinical Nutrition and Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Although an elevated serum cholesterol level is well established as
one of the most important risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD), the
long-term impact of elevated cholesterol levels in young adults (<40 years)
has not been well documented. In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Stamler and colleagues1 present data from 3 cohorts of younger men from 3
well-known prospective studies that demonstrate a continuous, graded relationship
of serum cholesterol levels with long-term risk of CHD, cardiovascular disease
(CVD), and all-cause mortality. The authors also demonstrate that compared
with younger men with favorable cholesterol levels, those with elevated cholesterol
levels have substantial absolute risk and excess risk of death from CHD and
CVD as well as shorter estimated life expectancy.
Grundy SM. Early Detection of High Cholesterol Levels in Young Adults. JAMA. 2000;284(3):365-367. doi:10.1001/jama.284.3.365