(TIME) — Why you should start thinking about your cholesterol earlier.
A new study finds that younger adults with high cholesterol have a higher risk of heart problems than older adults with the same traits.
The researchers collected data from 38 studies conducted in North America, Europe and Australia, comprising about 400,000 people without cardiovascular disease, a third of whom were younger than 45. At the start of each study, participants’ cholesterol levels were measured, and they answered questions about their medical histories, lifestyle and demographics. During a follow-up period of up to 43 years, almost 55,000 of the study participants developed heart disease or stroke.