A new study shows that 30 percent of children in that age range have cholesterol levels that are too high. They are “borderline” or “abnormal” for future heart issues.
“It is a problem that is undiagnosed,” said a doctor.
Cholesterol screening is suggested before and at the end of adolescence.
The findings show only 1-2 percent of children with high cholesterol inherited the condition from their parents. Other causes include obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet.
An expert said, “We are seeing an alarming increase in obesity and high cholesterol levels in children and adolescents.” However, he added, more screening may lead to more unnecessary medication.
Others say screening will lead to more talks between parents and doctors. “A good chance to sit down with parents and move them in the right direction,” one said.
The study of 12,700 9-to 11-year olds found:
- 37% had borderline or elevated levels of total cholesterol.
- 32% had borderline or low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
- 36% had borderline or elevated levels of non-HDL cholesterol.
- 46% had borderline or elevated levels of triglycerides.
Parents should have this kind of information about their children.
Source: USA Today March 28, 2014