MediBuddy study reveals growing trend of high cholesterol levels in young Indians

Analyzing data from 10,990 individuals aged 20-40, the study sheds light on the limitations of relying solely on BMI

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New Delhi: MediBuddy, India’s largest digital healthcare platform, revealed trends in cholesterol levels among young Indians, even within the normal Body Mass Index (BMI) range. The findings raise concerns about the traditional indicators used for assessing cardiovascular health.
Analyzing data from 10,990 individuals aged 20-40, the study sheds light on the limitations of relying solely on BMI. It highlights the need for a proactive, personalised approach to preventive care, especially in the face of evolving health challenges faced by young Indians.
The long-held reliance on BMI might overlook crucial factors in the current health landscape. Consider the rise of the “on-demand” generation juggling hectic schedules, high-pressure jobs, unhealthy food habits, and limited physical activity. These realities, coupled with changing food habits towards convenient but processed options, could be fueling a silent threat in the form of high cholesterol among young Indians with normal BMI.
The findings reveal that 22% of individuals with high Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol [LDL-C] (>160mg/dL), a key indicator of future cardiovascular risk, fall within the normal Body Mass Index [BMI] range of 18.5 -22.9.  This challenges the traditional belief that elevated cholesterol is primarily associated with obesity. Notably, men are more likely to be affected, with 63.7% of individuals with high LDL-C falling within this category. Similarly, 26.5% of individuals with borderline high LDL-C  (130-159 mg/dL)) belong to the normal BMI category. These statistics highlight the significant role of factors beyond BMI in determining cholesterol levels, including shifting food habits, and sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, and even genetics.
Dr Gowri Kulkarni, Head of Medical Operations, MediBuddy expressed concern over these revelations, stating, “The prevalence of elevated cholesterol levels among young individuals with normal BMI highlights the urgent need to move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach and embrace a personalised, preventive healthcare strategy that considers individual factors. Regular health checkups and tailored lifestyle modifications like stress management, healthy eating, and increased physical activity are vital to safeguarding cardiovascular health and well-being for young Indians navigating this evolving health landscape.”
As young Indians navigate evolving health challenges, the study highlights the significance of proactive healthcare measures. Raising awareness about the need for regular checkups and promoting a holistic approach to well-being becomes imperative for a healthier future. It is advised adults over age 20 should have their cholesterol measured at least every five years. That allows you and your doctor to intervene early if your numbers rise. As a society, we must move beyond traditional metrics and embrace a holistic approach to well-being. MediBuddy envisions a future where high-quality, personalised healthcare is accessible to all. With MediBuddy’s extensive network of specialists, we empower individuals to take control of their health and adopt preventative measures.