Should every child be screened for high cholesterol? That’s an issue currently up for debate.
The current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics say no. As it stands right now, there are only certain children who are screened. Those include:
* Children who have a parent or grandparent diagnosed with heart disease at or under 55 years of age.
* Children who have a parent or grandparent who have had a heart attack, heart-related chest pain, vascular disease or sudden cardiac death at or under 55 years of age.
* Children who have a parent with an elevated blood cholesterol level of 240 mg/dl or higher.
* Children who are diagnosed with obesity.
But, a recent study questions if practitioners are missing a significant number of children who might be identified with elevated cholesterol levels. Having that awareness might encourage families to be stricter about enforcing a healthy diet and exercise routine. And some kids might actually need to be treated with cholesterol-lowering medications.
The study found that almost 10 percent of kids who would not be tested under the current guidelines have elevated levels of LDL cholesterol.
Bottom line: Just relying on a family’s history of high cholesterol may be an insufficient screening tool to determine who needs a blood cholesterol level drawn.
But even if your child has not been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it’s a good idea for everyone to follow the advice of the American Heart Association — maintain a low-fat diet for all kids ages two and up. And, encourage your whole family to take time for exercise every day.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
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