Childhood Obesity and High Cholesterol Levels in Children

Monday, December 17, 2012 @ 03:12 PM

Yes, it’s true!!!!

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), put out new recommendations for cholesterol screening and treatment in children. The revised recommendations include universal screening for all children between the ages of 9 to 11. The reason that this age range has been chosen is that cholesterol drops during puberty but then increases again as adolescents approach adulthood.

Routinely your pediatrician or nurse practitioner should be screening children at high-risk for elevated cholesterol levels. High-risk children include: those with a family history of early heart disease or high cholesterol and certain conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes and children with heterozygous hypercholesterolemia (FH), a genetic condition of high cholesterol levels typically requiring medication to keep cholesterol levels down.

The now combined pattern of abnormal lipids associated with obesity includes normal to mild elevation of LDL, high Triglycerides (type of fat in blood stream) and low HDL (good cholesterol).

Why the change?
 Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), in which the artery walls thicken as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol, is the leading cause of death in North Americans. There are documented cases of children as young as 2 years old with fatty streaks of cholesterol forming on the artery walls. The risk factors and risk behaviors in childhood can quicken the development of heart disease at young ages.

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