When I think high cholesterol, my mind tends to gravitate toward people over thirty-five, but a recent study conducted by West Virginia University discovered children are at equal risk when it comes dangerous LDL cholesterol levels.
The study, which examined 20,266 children, discovered that 36% of the screened kids would not have been screened otherwise and were at risk from high LDL cholesterol. These kids required treatment such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, monitored diet and increased exercise.
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Chairman of pediatrics at University of Colorado School of Medicine, Stephen Daniels, noted that the majority of children who take cholesterol lowering drugs have high cholesterol as a result of genetic conditions, not poor diet choices and lack of exercise.
There is no denying many of our nation’s children suffer from inactivity, poor diet and health issues as a result of childhood obesity, but I find it a little odd that the results from this study appeared shortly after Pfizer began marketing chewable Lipitor in Europe. Lipitor is a cholesterol lowering drug often prescribed to patients suffering from high levels of LDL cholesterol.
On the other hand, with nearly 20% of America’s children tipping the childhood obesity scales, many of these children are already at risk for life-threatening diseases like Type 2 diabetes and eventual heart disease. Current childhood cholesterol screenings are only recommended for children who come from families with a history of heart disease and high cholesterol, but there are obvious benefits to cholesterol screenings.
Should cholesterol screenings become a part of yearly pediatric check-up regimens? What are your thoughts?