News | July 06, 2008

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Cholesterol Screening, Drugs for Children

July 7, 2008 - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today issued new cholesterol screening and treatment recommendations for children whose families have high risk for factors cardiovascular disease.

The policy statement, “Lipid Screening and Cardiovascular Health in Childhood,” recommends cholesterol screening of children and adolescents with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. It also recommends screening patients whose family history is unknown or those who have other factors for heart disease including obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. Screening should take place after age two, but no later than age 10.

The AAP said the best method for testing is a fasting lipid profile. If a child has values within the normal range, testing should be repeated in three to five years. For children who are more than eight years old and who have high LDL concentrations, cholesterol-reducing medications should be considered. Younger patients with elevated cholesterol readings should focus on weight reduction and increased activity while receiving nutritional counseling. The statement also recommends the use of reduced-fat dairy products, such as two percent milk, for children as young as age 1 for whom overweight or obesity is a concern.

The policy appears in the July issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the AAP.

AAP is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

For more information: www.aap.org

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