Cholesterol Screening Should Start At Age Nine
Screening for high cholesterol in children should begin as early as ages 9-11 and happen again at ages 17-21, regardless of their family history, U.S. researchers say.
This is a new recommendation by the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics that replaces the old one, which called for screening children who had a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease, CNN reported.
The new one aims to combat cardiovascular disease before it starts.
"The more we learn about heart disease and stroke in adults, the more we know that the process begins in childhood and progresses over time," CNN quoted Dr. Stephen R. Daniels of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and a member of the panel that reviewed the guidelines. "By working with families, we can keep kids at a lower lifetime risk and prevent more serious problems in adulthood."
UPI.com reported that the panel suggested pediatricians could use a type of cholesterol screening test that does not need children to fast before getting their blood drawn.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Stephen Daniels, chairman of the task force that wrote the new guidelines and a chief pediatrician at Children's Hospital Colorado in Denver, as saying, "The reason for doing it is ... that targeted screening doesn't work very well.”