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One out of three kids shown to have high cholesterol

Posted on Apr 02, 2014 by Maggie LaBarbera
This year at the American College of Cardiology Conference, Dr Seery, presented new findings concerning elevated cholesterol in children*.

Based on their study about 1 out of 3 children screened for high cholesterol had borderline or high cholesterol. This was one of the largest studies conducted in outpatient pediatric clinics.  

The study looked at 12,712 children who were screened for cholesterol levels as part of their routine exam. 30% (4709 children had borderline or high total cholesterol. Children were between 9-11 years old.

High cholesterol is a concern because it can lead to an increased risk for heart disease later in life. Read more about cholesterol.

This is more evidence that children should be screened at least once between the ages of 9-11.  If children who are at risk could be identified earlier than measure could be taken to proactively help them change their dietary and activity lifestyle. ie. help them eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains while increasing their activity levels.

The study found 

  • boys were more likely than girls to have elevated total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides (fat)
  • girls were more likely to have HDL (the healthy cholesterol)

We test for cholesterol as part of a routine blood test (part of our physical exam) as adults.  There has been new guidelines the recommend testing for cholesterol exams for children, in particular, between the ages of 9-11 and again between 17-21

But just because there is a recommendation from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Academy of Pediatrics does not mean that doctors are doing this test.

It is unfortunate that our lifestyles have moved what was an "adult health concern" to children but that is where we are.  Kids are showing signs of increasing risk for developing heart disease.   You may think that if your child is not overweight that you don't have to worry about this.  But we are finding increased cholesterol levels in kids that are in normal weight as well.

So, bottom line, testing for cholesterol should be done in children.  There is enough clinical evidence that proves it is an issue in children and should be monitored.

Nourish Thought for the Day:  

Don't assume that your child is being tested for cholesterol.  If your child is between 9-11 years, ask your pediatrician to please do this test.


More information for parents

Give The Gift of Love – Be Good to Your Child’s Heart

Your Family's Heart Health and Cholesterol





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