Currently CVD prevention in the young, or those with just a mild or moderate risk, is limited, but can result in substantial benefit3. As atherosclerosis is a chronic, progressive disease usually initiated during the first 30 years of life, maintaining desirable LDL-cholesterol levels at an early stage, even from childhood, substantially delays or possibly prevents the onset of the disease7,9. This approach is associated with a markedly greater reduction in CVD risk than lowering already elevated LDL-cholesterol levels in middle age7,16. However, it should be considered never too
late to take action to lower cholesterol levels.
So, how can LDL-cholesterol levels be maintained at optimal or desired levels throughout life without long-term drug use and adding to the burden on the healthcare system? Dietary habits and lifestyle factors need to be seriously considered; particularly as nutritional and behavioral changes have been shown to lower LDL-cholesterol levels by up to 20%17.