Children at Risk for High Cholesterol
More evidence is suggesting that heart disease may start early, and that even young children may have high cholesterol. With so much junk food being eaten and children not getting enough exercise, this should not come as a big surprise.
Studies suggest that the build up of plaque in the arteries can start at a very young age, so high cholesterol should be taken seriously. If children have high cholesterol it means they could have heart disease by early adulthood.
While most children have high cholesterol due to poor diet and not enough exercise, some of it is due to inheritance. Special attention should be paid to children with a family history of cholesterol or early heart disease. These children should be tested for cholesterol as young as the age of 2.
If the child has low cholesterol, diet changes and exercise are recommended. Overweight children usually respond well to this treatment.
If this doesn't lower cholesterol enough, cholesterol drugs can be used as young as the age of 8, but it is best if they are older than 10. The drugs should only be used if bad cholesterol or LDL is 160 mg/dL or higher with no other risks for heart disease, or 130 mg/dL or higher when two risk factors for heart disease are present.
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