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Child & Teen Health

Should kids have their cholesterol checked?

December 22, 2011
  • By Lloyd Resnick, Former Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

About the Author

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Lloyd Resnick, Former Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Lloyd Resnick was editor of the Harvard Heart Letter from August 2011 to May 2012. Before coming to HHP, LLoyd worked for the Massachusetts Medical Society in various capacities, notably as managing editor of HealthNews. A … See Full Bio
View all posts by Lloyd Resnick


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February 3, 2012

Unfortunately children are inactive because a lot of games and surrounded by junk food making them prone to getting cholesterol.

Yousri Rifai
January 30, 2012

this is the problem we face now days with our kids as much as they like and use the fast food, I think we need to control this 1st to avoid LDL & they risk factors.

January 5, 2012

Good point the first step for a good healthy,begins in home of course the children must be checked, is ours homework,keep a good healthy with our children,I agree that many people never take this like important,for this reason we have ,childhood obesity very highest.

Thanks for sharing.

Carolyn Thomas
January 4, 2012

Hello Lloyd,

I was really hoping for a balanced answer to your title question here, or at the very least, perhaps enhanced perspectives from physicians who do NOT think the AAP endorsement is appropriate.

So instead, consider the common-sense voice of reason from Dr. Rita Redberg, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. She told the Wall Street Journal recently:

“I don’t know of any data that screening children ages 9 to 11 is of any benefit to them. We don’t need to do cholesterol tests to advise children to eat fruits and vegetables, watch their weight and get regular physical activity.”

As for the fantasy hope that “more doctor time will be spent coaching and counseling now” on healthy lifestyle choices, a quick look at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ own study of pediatricians on their current obesity counseling practices might be in order. Of the 1,600 respondents, 56% of pediatricians reported they don’t get reimbursed for counseling on obesity. That’s why they don’t do it. Do we now believe they are going to start doing this – for free?

More on this at: “Universal Cholesterol Screening for Kids?” at

Heather Smith
January 3, 2012

Thanks for posting this guidelines, this will help a lot of kids improved their health.

December 23, 2011

its important to know , that high level of cholesterol lead to these type of diseases , and how to avoid it 🙂

baby cots
January 26, 2012

totally agree and it should be a must test to school yearly

muhaisin oneil abubakar
December 23, 2011


Kate Clark
December 22, 2011

What about the money wasted checking the 80 to 90% of kids who have no cholesterol problems? The physician can recommend the test for anyone she suspects might have high cholesterol, but testing everyone without reason is ridiculous. Few pediatricians draw blood at office visits- this means yet another trip to a lab, more missed work for parents… sometimes a healthy child is just a healthy child.

ilesanmi bayo
December 22, 2011

am tried of this world because of my health

ilesanmi bayo
December 22, 2011

if someone has ASTHMA which drug can i use to cure it. pls

Ricardo Carvalho
December 22, 2011

The guidelines are really about getting people of all ages to take statins and believe in the lipid hypothesis. Given the sistematic failure of this hypothesis on several recent and older studies, what should be donne is to rethink if cholesterol levels matter at all for heart disease. For doctors and big pharm this will allways be a lucrative issue, it’s all about money an not much about real science.

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