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1 in 3 people die of heart disease due to buildup of fats, cholesterol

IANS May 17, 2024

Cardiovascular disease, mainly caused by atherosclerosis or buildup of fats, and cholesterol in artery walls, claims one in three people around the world, making it the leading cause of death globally, according to researchers on 16 May.

A team at Denmark's Rigshospitalet noted that many people live with serious manifestations of atherosclerosis, like a heart attack or a stroke.

The condition not only represents a significant burden for these individuals but also a heavy burden on healthcare systems and societies worldwide.

"Atherosclerosis may develop from an early age and often remains 'silent', that is, without symptoms, for many years until it suddenly hits, for example with a heart attack," said Dr Henning Bundgaard, Chief Physician and Professor at the Department of Cardiology at Rigshospitalet.

The researchers said that the risk of atherosclerosis is currently measured by blood pressure, cholesterol levels, age, and lifestyle.

Led by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the team aims to develop early detection and prevention methods.

"We hope to identify new means to detect atherosclerosis at earlier stages and a younger age, that is during the 'silent' period," Dr Bundgaard said.

In a new study, they aim to include imaging of arteries in the neck and groin and the coronary arteries, as well as genetic analysis and blood tests in a new study of 16,000 individuals aged 20-70.

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