With 30 percent of the nation's children overweight, an increase in Type II diabetes in children, and growing evidence that the first signs of heart disease show up in childhood, there has been greater interest in the medical community and support from many medical professional organizations for children to undergo cholesterol screening.
Isn't cholesterol screening for adults?
No. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends cholesterol screening for overweight children and adolescents as well as for those young people with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease.
When should children have a cholesterol screening?
Screening for children who meet the criteria above should take place after age two, but no later than age 10.
How do they do cholesterol screenings?
The best method for testing is a finger prick blood test called a fasting lipid profile. If a child has values within the normal range, testing should be repeated in three to five years. If the values are not normal, a doctor will discuss the best course of treatment with the child's parent or guardian.
What can be done for children with high cholesterol?
Younger patients with elevated cholesterol readings should focus on weight reduction and increased activity while receiving proper nutritional counseling. The last resort for children over the age of 10 would be medication to lower cholesterol levels.
Dr. Brienne J. Loy is now welcoming new patients. To make an appointment, call 970.392.4752.
Family Health Care of the Rockies
2121 E. Harmony Road, Suite 230 (Building A)
Fort Collins, CO 80528