The children should be tested for high cholesterol as the cases of high cholesterol levels in children and kids are increasing.
In recent years obesity in children is increasing dramatically, consequently a significant number of children have elevated cholesterol levels. In most cases this remains undetected. Some experts are of the view that high childhood cholesterol is a major underreported public health problem. It is believed that the problems associated by high cholesterol can start in childhood.
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Screening Children for High Cholesterol
The question arises, should the children be screened for cholesterol levels routinely? The National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines recommends cholesterol screening for children
1. whose parents or grandparents developed heart disease or had high cholesterol levels at age 55 or younger. About 90% of children with high cholesterol level have a parent who also has high cholesterol.
2. have severe obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, diabetes, elevated blood pressure, renal disease and low thyroid activity.
Dr. Ashok Seth, Chairman Escort Heart Institute says, "Blockages start as early as 3-4 years of age and major blockages can occur by 15 years of age. Regular health screenings including blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar tests during childhood once in every two 2 years and once every year in case of grown ups. In case detected with any irregularities, then a regular check is important on the advice of the doctor.
According to the American Heart Association, the ranges of total cholesterol for children 2 years to 19 years old are:
|Category||Total cholesterol |
|LDL Cholesterol |
|Acceptable||Less than 170||Less than 110||Child should be screened every 5 years.|
|Borderline||170-199||110 - 129||Doctor may test fasting cholesterol.|
|High||200 or greater||130 or greater||Doctor may test HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.|