NEW YORK, July 19 (Praxis Press) Using serum cholesterol levels to predict coronary heart disease (CHD) and whether to treat hypercholesterolemia in people under the age of 40 is controversial. To evaluate the long-term impact of unfavorable serum cholesterol levels on risk of death from CHD, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and all causes, Stamler and colleagues evaluated a total of 11,017 men aged 18 through 39 years from three large prospective studies (see paper). The researchers measured cause-specific mortality during several years of follow-up, mortality risks, and estimated life expectancy in relation to baseline serum cholesterol levels. They found that men with serum cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or greater, versus favorable levels (<200 mg/dL), had a 2.15 to 3.63 times greater CHD mortality risk; a 2.10 to 2.87 times greater CVD disease mortality risk; and a 1.31 to 1.49 times greater all-cause mortality risk. In younger men,...

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