The National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) has found that young people are more susceptible to the harmful effects of atherosclerosis, a condition in which arteries become narrowed and hardened. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, emphasizes the need for aggressive control of risk factors at an earlier age to prevent cardiovascular disease.
The research suggests that arteries in younger people are more vulnerable to damage due to high cholesterol and blood pressure, possibly because they are less exposed to aging. Lifestyle modifications, such as diet changes, reducing alcohol consumption, and lowering salt intake, can help control these factors and prevent atherosclerosis.
However, 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.