A surprising new proposal from the nation's pediatricians. The American Academy of Pediatrics says cholesterol is not just something for mom and dad to worry about, but every child should be screened by age 2 especially if there is a family history.
The AAP says just as heart disease and diabetes are on the rise, so is high cholesterol in young children. "We're looking at an explosion of obesity and overweight in our children. And we're starting to see what we used to think of as adult diseases - now occurring in the pediatric population. It's not uncommon for me to see a sweetened beverage - a soda in a baby bottle. It's not uncommon for me to hear that the first food a child ate was a french fry," said Dr. Francine Kaufman, Children's Hospital of L.A., Professor of Pediatrics.
The new cholesterol screening guidelines are designed to pick up those high risk kids early in life and target preventions early too. That may help them avoid life threatening complications later.
So what will happen if a child is identified with high cholesterol? The AAP says statins, or cholesterol lowering drugs, may be needed for high risk children when nothing else has worked to bring it down.