Also in the study, a systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or higher was associated with a 37% increased risk of heart failure later in life and a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm Hg or higher was associated with a 21% increased risk.
"Our results show that middle-aged or older years can not improve cumulative damage made during young adulthood. "
'It was a novel finding and striking'
The study involved data on blood pressure, cholesterol and cardiovascular health of 36,030 adults in the United States over an average of 1
The researchers took a close look at the health of the adults in the data from the age of 18 to 39 and then from 40 and older
The researchers found that elevated diastolic blood pressure and "bad" LDL cholesterol before age 40 were associated with incidents of coronary heart disease after age 40, and elevated systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure before 40 were associated with incidents of heart failure after 40.
"What was surprising was the strong association on young adult high LDL cholesterol and later life events – even after accounting for later life cholesterol levels, "Moran said.
" We were also surprised at the association of young adult blood pressure with later life heart failure, "he said. "It was a novel finding and striking because of many heart failure events occurring in older age."
The study had some limitations, including that associations between blood pressure, cholesterol levels and later cardiovascular events were found.
More research is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge when comparing cardiovascular health in childhood to adulthood
"Now that we have found these associations of risk factors in young adulthood "We are intrigued with the childhood period and potential opportunities for early prevention there," said Moran,
'The time has come to recognize that preventive interventions are occurring too late'
In the editorial, they called for the medical community to "wake up" and recognize that preventive
"Young adults, especially women and non-white individuals, have not shared the overall reduction in cardiovascular disease rates over the last several decades and are less likely to receive guideline-based care,
"The time has come to recognize that preventive interventions are occurring too late in life to have a substantial impact on the population burden of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and heart failure," they wrote. "By moving to trials in younger, higher-risk individuals who have less advanced disease more amenable to reversal, and developing accurate medicine strategies based on genetics, imaging, and other risk factors, the next era of cardiovascular disease prevention can begin."