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Having high cholesterol in your 30s and 40s could have a long-term impact on your heart health, according to a study.
Research, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, found that for every decade you have elevated cholesterol between the ages of 35 and 55, your future risk of heart disease may increase by 39 percent.
Scientists, from Duke Clinical Research Institute, studied data from 1,478 adults from the Framingham Heart Study.
The adults were free of cardiovascular disease at the age of 55 years, and the researchers calculated the length of time each participant had experienced high cholesterol by that age.
Doireann Maddock, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: "We already know that too much cholesterol in your blood is a risk factor for having a heart attack or stroke.
"This study suggests that even slightly high cholesterol levels in otherwise healthy adults between the ages of 35 and 55 can have a long term impact on heart health.
"It's never too early to start thinking about your heart health. By eating a healthy diet and keeping physically active you can help improve your cholesterol level.
"If you're over 40, you are entitled to a health check from your GP or practice nurse which includes a cholesterol check."
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