Lowering cholesterol levels as early as childhood can help reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease, says a team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
The researchers are proposing that aggressive intervention to lower cholesterol levels as early as childhood is the best approach available today to ensure lower rates of heart disease.
In a review article published in the August 5, 2008 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation, pioneering lipid researcher Daniel Steinberg, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of medicine at UC San Diego, and colleagues Christopher Glass, M.D., Ph.D. and Joseph Witztum, M.D., both UC San Diego professors of medicine, call current approaches to lowering cholesterol to prevent heart disease "too little, too late."
They state that with a large body of evidence proving that low cholesterol levels equate with low rates of heart disease, "...our long-term goal should be to alter our lifestyle accordingly, beginning in infancy or early childhood" and that "...instituting a low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet in infancy (7 months) is perfectly safe, without adverse effects..."
According to Steinberg, progress has been made in the treatment of coronary heart disease in adults with cholesterol lowering drugs like statins.
However, while studies show a 30 percent decrease in death and disability from heart disease in patients treated with statins, 70 percent of patients have cardiac events while on statin therapy.