Recent research has connected high levels of cholesterol with a greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, as well as a series of non-communicable diseases, all of which has become a new epidemic in developed countries worldwide. In an attempt to address the concerning rise of cardiovascular disorders related to high cholesterol, a series of screening tests have been developed in order to identify and prevent the evolution of these cholesterol-related cardiovascular diseases.
As a result of the research effort, which was conducted in part by Thomas Seery, a pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and his team, which will be presented at the American College of Cardiology 63rd Annual Scientific Session, an alarming finding was confirmed: one out of three kids has borderline or high cholesterol.
The study involved the examination of the medical records of 12,712 children who had a cholesterol level screening as part of their routine physical examination within the Texas Children’s Pediatrics Associates clinics. It was found that 30% of the patients had elevated total cholesterol levels.
Researchers also found that boys were more likely to have elevated cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol, while girls had lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
“The sheer number of kids with abnormal lipid profiles provides further evidence that this is a population that needs attention and could potentially benefit from treatment,” said Dr. Seery, “but we can only intervene if we diagnose the problem.” It was found in 9- to 11-year-old Hispanic children that they have elevated triglycerides and lower HDL when compared to non-Hispanics.
“Kids need to have their cholesterol panel checked at some point durig this timeframe [9 to 11 years old],” Seery said. “In doing so, it presents the perfect opportunity for clinicians and parents to discuss the importance of healthy lifestyle choices on cardiovascular health. Our findings give a compelling reason to screen all kids’ blood cholesterol.”