Atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the hardening and narrowing of arteries, is more prevalent among young people due to various factors such as high cholesterol and blood pressure. Researchers from the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) have found that the arteries of younger individuals are more susceptible to damage from these factors, which could be due to their lack of exposure to aging.
The study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology highlights the need for aggressive control of risk factors at an earlier age, potentially requiring a change in primary prevention strategies. The results emphasize that atherosclerosis can be reversed with early interventions, including lifestyle modifications like diet changes, reducing alcohol consumption, and lowering salt intake. 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. According to estimates, 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 as a preventive measure for young adults.