Bad cholesterol rise in youngsters during covid times, revealed study

A study conducted in Sept and Oct shows 1617 youngsters out of 2112 were having bad cholesterol

by Priya J 

Pune: After unlock phase, high cholesterol cases have surged up in youngsters due to factors like work from home for longer hours, limited physical activity, and faulty eating habits. Kick-off your sedentary lifestyle to keep your cholesterol levels in check.

A two-month study conducted by Apollo Diagnostics, Pune revealed that there is a significant rise in cholesterol levels. In the study, the sample size 2112 out of which 1413 were males and 409 were females. 30 people below 20 had bad cholesterol while the number was 1671 in the age group 20-40. 240 people in the age group of 40-60 whereas 171 people belonging to the age group of 60+ were known to have abnormal cholesterol levels. Out of 2112 people, 1822 patients’ bad cholesterol increased and 1523 patients’ good cholesterol decreased. 

Cholesterol can be described as a waxy, fat-like substance that is present in almost all the cells in one’s body. Moreover, your liver tends to make cholesterol and it comes from foods such as meat and dairy. Remember that your body will need some amount of cholesterol to work efficiently. LDL and HDL are known as 2 kinds of lipoprotein. LDL means low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) and they build up in the arteries. While HDL means high-density lipoproteins and is termed as good cholesterol as it carries cholesterol from various parts of the body to the liver. Later, the liver is responsible for removing the cholesterol from the body.

Dr. Sanjay Ingle, Pathologist, and Zonal Technical Head West India, Apollo Diagnostics, Pune, highlighted, “After unlock phase, LDL that is bad cholesterol has increased in many youngsters. Work from home for longer hours has led to stress that has an inverse effect on the good cholesterol and direct relationship with LDL. Lack of physical activity and binge eating foods like biscuits, pastries, and pizza, deep-fried and fast foods, cheese and dessert are other factors causing bad cholesterol."

Dr Ingle added, “Good cholesterol helps the body to mitigate the effects of bad cholesterol. Whenever good cholesterol decreases its protective effect on the cardiac conditions or on the heart is reduced. If the LDL increases then it forms plaque with other substances and this plaque attacks the arteries leading to atherosclerosis. Coronary artery disease happens when the plaque buildup is in the arteries of your heart. Your arteries narrow and become hard that may block the blood flow to the heart. This can further lead to angina (chest pain) or heart attack.”

Stick to a diet high in fiber. “Eat fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and wholegrain as a fiber-rich diet will absorb bad cholesterol. Cut down on saturated and trans fats. Exercise on a daily basis and maintain an optimum weight to manage your cholesterol levels. Smoking can increase your LDL, quit it on an immediate basis. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation to de-stress. Go for regular cholesterol checkups once in 3 to 6 months,” said Dr Ingle.

“Dislipidaemia is seen in teenagers and young adults 30-40yrs. It is usually associated with heart attack, stroke, Hypertension, Thyroid diseases, peripheral vascular disease, and pancreatitis. It is associated with lifestyle, dietary habits. It is usually associated with a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise. They are aware of it but they fail to take it seriously. The habits like smoking, alcohol, tobacco increase risk,” concluded Dr.Sanjay Nagarkar, general physician, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Pune.

Statistics by Apollo Diagnostics, Pune

Age group


Abnormal Cholesterol


a. below 20 years




b. 20-40 years




c. 40 -60 years





d. 60 years and above





2. Gender



a. Male




b. female




3. Cholesterol



a. Good cholesterol


Decreased in 1523


b. Bad cholesterol


Increased in 1822