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October 6, 1993

Cholesterol Screening in Young Adults-Reply

JAMA. 1993;270(13):1546-1547. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510130052026

In Reply.  —Young men and premenopausal women are at lower short-term risk for developing CHD than are older persons or those with multiple risk factors. However, the potential difference in long-term benefits from lowering and maintaining lower cholesterol levels in young adulthood vs middle adulthood is essentially unknown. Furthermore, young persons who have elevated cholesterol levels have a greater risk for developing CHD than do those with lower cholesterol levels.1Cholesterol screening in young adults may result in healthier lifestyle behaviors, including more healthful diets (decreased fat and increased fruit and vegetable intake), smoking cessation, weight reduction, and increased physical activity. In addition to reducing cholesterol level, these lifestyle changes are associated with many other health benefits.Concerning the cost efficacy of cholesterol reduction, the estimate of $1 million per year of life saved is based on the extrapolation of data from older persons and treating men aged 25