What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

ASK THE EXPERT: DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE SCREENED FOR HIGH CHOLESTEROL?

     Home  >  Articles  > Health Advice & Tips
by NYMetroParents Staff

Related: high cholesterol in children, screening kids for high cholesterol, testing kids for high cholesterol, bad cholesterol in kids, heart disease in children,


We asked Anthony F. Porto, M.D., M.P.H., director of pediatric gastroenterology at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT, and assistant professor of pediatrics, Yale Medical Group. Read Dr. Porto's advice on what age kids should be tested for high cholesterol, what the risk factors are for developing high cholesterol at an early age, and how to prevent the diseases caused by high cholesterol.

 

blood test in laboratoryHigh cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease in adults, but some children may be at risk for premature coronary heart disease if they have high cholesterol levels earlier in life. The National Lipid Association has issued new guidelines stating that all children between 9 to 11 years of age should be screened for high cholesterol. In addition, children with a family history of premature heart disease and high cholesterol should be screened at age 2. 

Heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited condition that occurs as frequently in 1 in 500 people. Children with one parent with FH have a 50 percemt chance of inheriting FH. It is associated with high cholesterol, particularly high LDL ("bad") cholesterol. With high amounts of "bad" cholesterol in the blood, individuals are at increased risk for premature atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and may develop heart disease, myocardial infarctions (heart attack), and strokes at an early age. Because individuals with FH are often asymptomatic for years, people can go undiagnosed for years and present only after years of disease progression. The earlier that someone is diagnosed, the better it is for long-term health.

There is no cure of FH but early identification of children with familial hypercholesterolemia is essential to provide early treatment and prevent long-term problems. Treatment begins with dietary changes that include eating a healthy diet that is low in total fat and minimizes intake of saturated fat. Individuals should also eat foods with high fiber content and a wide array and adequate servings of fruit and vegetables. Diet changes can decrease cholesterol levels by as much as 10 percent.

Individuals should maintain an active lifestyle; ideally, exercising on most days for at least 30 minutes is recommended. If diet and exercise changes are not sufficient to lower cholesterol, a variety of cholesterol lowering drugs can be started.

Once children have been tested for familial hypercholesterolemia with a fasting lipid panel, they should be referred to a lipid specialist who can monitor lipid levels, ensure that diet changes have been implemented, and decide whether a cholesterol-lowering drug is needed.


-Anthony F. Porto, M.D., M.P.H., director, pediatric gastroenterology, Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT; and assistant professor of pediatrics, Yale Medical Group

 


Boredom buster

Be a parent in the know
Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More Health Advice & Tips Articles

What You Should Know About Measles
How to Keep Kids Active and Healthy in the Winter
Parents Agree All Children in Day Care Should be Vaccinated
Morning Fuel: Easy, Healthy Breakfasts from a Manhattan School Chef
Study Finds Children With Autism More Sedentary Than Those Without the Disorder

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Health Advice & Tips Sponsors


Whitby School
969 Lake Ave.
Greenwich, CT
203-869-8464 x176
At Whitby, each child's natural curiosity is encou...

Forde's Professional Tutoring, Inc.
693 E. 43rd St
Brooklyn, NY
718-856-0575 / 718-856-0368
Tutoring can make all the difference determining y...

Paint Your Own Pottery
Midway Shopping Center
Scarsdale, NY
914-472-7281
P.Y.O.P. is a great meeting place for friends and ...

Factor Tree (The)
419 Lafayette St., Fl 2
New York, NY
646-688-2818
Factor Tree is an online tool for helping children...

Christian Youth Theater New York City
PO Box 216
Peck Slip Station, New York
646-490-0654
Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is dedicated to deve...
See Our Health Advice & Tips Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE