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Q.

How is high cholesterol diagnosed in children?

Related Topics: High Cholesterol
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

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A.

Health care professionals can check cholesterol in school-age children with a simple blood test. Conducting such a test is especially important if there is a strong family history of heart disease or if a parent of the child has high cholesterol. The blood test results will reveal whether a child's cholesterol is too high.

In July 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics made new recommendations for cholesterol screening in children. 

Screening is advised for kids with a family history of high cholesterol or blood fats, or a family history of premature heart disease (age 55 or younger for men, age 65 or younger for women). Screening is also recommended for kids who are overweight (at or above the 85th percentile), and with other risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

First screening is recommended after age 2, but no later than age 10. Children under age 2 should not be screened. If the fasting lipid profile is normal, a child should be screened again in three to five years.

For kids who are overweight or obese and who have a high blood-fat level or low level of "good" HDL cholesterol, weight management is the primary treatment. This means improved diet with nutritional counseling and increased physical exercise.

For kids aged 8 and older with extremely high cholesterol levels (or high levels with a family history of early heart disease), drug treatment should be considered.
 

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: High Cholesterol in Children