Why some young people should get their cholesterol tested

(ABC) – Exercise – a healthy diet. Things that all of us can do at any age to protect our hearts.

But for one in 250 Americans- a hidden problem. It’s a condition called Familial Hypercholesterolemia. And people who inherit the genes for it are at risk to have high levels of cholesterol from a very young age. Making them 22 times more likely to have cardiac problems early on.

Because high cholesterol is a silent disease, early screening can be a life saver for these people. But the question of when we should all be getting screened for high cholesterol remains unanswered. And major U.S. medical bodies don’t agree on guidelines for such early testing.

A doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston now recommending in an editorial that screening should happen in young adults. A step he says would increase the chances of catching this problem early for those who have it. And perhaps catching such cases in family members.

Whether such advice turns into guidelines remains to be seen. But if an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it’s a test that might have real benefits for those at risk.

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