(CNN) – Making healthier choices early – can save your life later.
According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, having higher than normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels before age 40, can raise the risk of heart disease when you’re older.
The study showed a level of “bad” LDL cholesterol at 100 milligrams or higher as a young adult, was associated with a 64% increased risk for coronary heart disease later in life.
A systolic blood pressure of 130 millimeters of mercury or higher, brought a 37% increased risk of heart failure after 40.
Researchers say waiting until middle age or older to improve diet and exercise can’t always reverse damage done in youth.
The study involved research on more than 36,000 U.S. adults, between the ages of 18- to 39-years-old as well as those 40-years-old and older.
Health experts are urging younger adults to use this as a wake up call, to make healthier choices now.
Some ways to lower blood pressure now include exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, reducing sodium and alcohol, and cutting back on caffeine.