Monday, November 28, 2011

New cholesterol screening recommendation for children

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) created an expert panel to discuss and endorse early cholesterol screening in an effort to combat childhood obesity and to address those at highest risk. Specifically, they advise cholesterol testing for all children regardless of their risk factors. Pediatric Health Associates is in full support of these new recommendations. We start our cholesterol screening at age five and we screen again between ages eleven and twelve.

Previous guidelines included looking at family history and risk factors including high blood pressure, obesity, or diabetes to decipher when to check a child’s cholesterol. According to a statement by Dr. Patrick McBride, one of the authors of the new guidelines, “the old approach of testing only high-risk children simply did not work and previously targeted screening missed more than 50 percent of children with high cholesterol.”
Pediatric Health wants to stress:
- PHA needs parental support with early cholesterol screening to protect children from problems later in their life.
- High Cholesterol levels as a child are directly linked to heart disease as an adult.
- With an increase in childhood obesity, cholesterol levels are on the rise also.
- A decrease in body mass index (BMI) and weight will lead to lower cholesterol levels.
- Even after a normal cholesterol screen, healthy eating needs to be a daily family focus.
- Parents must increase the activity level of children and reduce screen time. PHA recommends one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise per day for all children over five years of age.

Information taken from the following links:

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