Shouldn’t you be the “picture of health” as a young adult? Guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that looks are deceiving.
Canadian researchers presented study results recently at the 2011 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress regarding their study of 168 adults between the ages of 18 and 35 years-old.
Study participants had no family history of heart disease, nor any other known risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking.
Guess what? Researchers found a “staggering” number of participants to have atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque along artery walls. Almost half of participants had signs of atherosclerosis – 48%.
Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference were recorded for all participants. MRI scans measured both subcutaneous (fat under the skin) and visceral fat (fat around vital organs).
These measurements found many participants to have greater waist circumferences and higher levels of visceral fat within the chest and abdomen. These high levels of visceral fat increase risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke at some point in their lives. It’s this high level of visceral fat that is likely contributing to the early signs of atherosclerosis.
These Canadian findings corroborate previous research that has found up to 80% of young American’s killed in war or car accidents to have premature and hidden atherosclerosis.
What Can You Do?