CHD Risk Factors Common in Young Men and Women

But risk factors for coronary heart disease don't appear to alter low screening rates in young adults
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) are common among young adults, but they don't seem to alter rates of screening for high cholesterol, according to research published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Elena V. Kuklina, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys on 2,587 men (aged 20 to 35) and women (aged 20 to 45). They defined CHD equivalents as stroke, diabetes, or fasting blood glucose of 126 mg/dL or higher.

The researchers found that about 59 percent of participants had CHD, CHD equivalents, or at least one CHD risk factor, including family history of early CHD, obesity, smoking, or hypertension. The overall screening rate was less than 50 percent. Participants with no risk factors and those with one or more risk factors had similar screening rates. Most (65 percent) with CHD or CHD equivalents had high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, as did 26 percent with two or more risk factors, 12 percent with one risk factor, and 7 percent with no risk factors.

"Our results indicate that improvement of risk assessment and management for cardiovascular disease among young adults through evidence-based clinical and public health interventions is warranted. To develop and implement these interventions successfully, a comprehensive analysis of the currently available prevention strategies is needed," the authors conclude.

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