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Cholesterol Screening Should Begin at 20

Cholesterol Screening Should Begin at 20

United Press International

March 15, 2010

Although many may think heart disease is a middle-age worry a U.S. cardiologist suggests cholesterol screening should begin at age 20.

Dr. Anand Rohatgi, a cardiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says atherosclerosis — hardening of the arteries — begins early and young adults, and even teens, can show evidence of atherosclerosis.

If early screening reveals low levels of good high-density lipoproteins, or the “good” cholesterol, or moderately high levels of low-density lipoproteins, or the “bad” cholesterol, counseling can provide help to modify lifestyles. Those who fall into this category should be re-evaluated every one or two years, Rohatgi says.

“Simple measures that can reduce cholesterol levels include decreasing the amount of saturated fat to less than 7 percent of total calories consumed each day,” Rohatgi says in a statement. “Also, increasing the amount of soluble fiber by just 5-10 grams daily and limiting cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams per day are helpful.”

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