More children should be screened for high cholesterol before puberty, beyond those with a family history of problems, according to wide-ranging new guidelines expected from government-appointed experts who are trying to prevent heart disease later in life.
Any call for wider screening is likely to raise concern about overdiagnosing a condition that may not cause problems for decades, if ever. Yet studies suggest that half of children with high cholesterol will also have it as adults, and it’s one of the best-known causes of clogged arteries that can lead to heart attacks.
Until now, major medical groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have advised screening only children with a family history of early heart disease or high cholesterol and those who are obese or have diabetes or high blood pressure.
About a third of U.S. children and teens are obese or overweight. And government studies estimate that about 10 to 13 percent of children and teens have high cholesterol – defined as a score above 200.
The broader context for these guidelines is stepped-up efforts around the globe to target children and prevent problems later in life.
Last summer, the British government gave its first exercise advice for children under 5, urging some daily activity even for babies too young to walk. And the U.S. Institute of Medicine also recently gave diet and exercise advice for preschoolers.
The happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic stops by the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party to learn healthy ways to enjoy the barbecue from everyday people.
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