Young? Get Your Cholesterol Levels Checked! (Heart Health)
If you are young and healthy, your cholesterol levels may be the farthest thing from your mind. Even young adults (20 years of age and older), however, should have their cholesterol levels measured. Studies have shown that the buildup of plaque in the arteries begins in late adolescence and early adulthood. A cholesterol level measured at age 20 predicts the risk of a heart attack over the following 30 to 40 years.
Waiting until midlife to measure and lower cholesterol reduces the potential benefit you could gain. Checking your cholesterol and discussing it with your doctor can help you make lifestyle changes â€” eating right, being physically active, and controlling your weight â€” to maintain good health now and prevent heart disease later in life.