Cholesterol Testing proposed be done in Early Childhood

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Even children ages 9-11 presently had a condition known as obesity or above normal body weight. This condition predisposes even children into cardiovascular diseases (heart disorders) and even type II Diabetes mellitus. This is according to latest medical guidelines announced Friday that is indeed an alarming one.  Approximately 1/3 of all American children are overweight or obese, which is almost 3 times the rate it was in 1963.

Because of the situation, the guidelines sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics was amended base from the old guidelines. The increasing evidence that heart disease and stroke in adults is the culmination of a process that begins in childhood. The recommendation to screen for cholesterol at least once between ages 9 and 11 and again between ages 17 and 21 is a significant change from the original 1992 guidelines, which advised screening children only if they have a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol. “Our previous approach to screening has been shown to not work very well,” says Dr. Stephen Daniels, chair of the department of pediatrics at the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine, who led the panel that compiled the guidelines. The guidelines focus on maximizing cardiovascular health starting with breast-feeding and a diet low in saturated fat as early as age 1. Parents are encouraged to keep their kids physically active and away from tobacco smoke. But Dr. Elaine Urbina, director of preventive cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said, “If we screen at age 20, it may be already too late. To me, it’s not controversial at all. We should have been doing this for years

Atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries begins in childhood and progresses over time stated by some pathology study. “We’ve learned that risk factors we’re used to thinking of as problems in adults are already at work in childhood,” says Daniels. He added “that people who reach the age of 50 while managing to keep their blood pressure and cholesterol low and not become overweight or obese have a very minimal chance of being diagnosed with heart disease down the road”. “Pediatricians and family physicians need to be thinking about this so that they can maintain this low-risk status in children and adolescents,” says Daniels. The early screening will not only help the children prevent the said condition but also will help physicians identify those kids who are setting themselves up for an unhealthy future. “These are kids who are not candidates for medication but need lifestyle changes,” furthermore discussed by Daniels, “In fact, most children who are found to have high cholesterol won’t be treated with medication. Instead, they’ll be directed to amend their diet and exercise regularly. Less than 1% of kids with high cholesterol are anticipated to be prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications.”



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