The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new recommendations, suggesting that children and adolescents with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease should have a cholesterol screening.
It also has recommended screening patients whose family history is unknown or those who have other risk factors for heart disease including obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. The screening should take place after age two, but no later than age 10, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The recommendations state that 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, according to the AAP.
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 one year of age for whom overweight or obesity is a concern.