High Cholesterol

Does Your Young One Need a Cholesterol Screening Test?

High cholesterol levels are not a problem that exists only with adults and grownups. The problem can exist with children too. In fact of late, several children under the age of 16 were reported to have a high cholesterol level. To eradicate the problem right at the childhood stage, doctors in America have been urging parents for cholesterol testing of their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics urged physicians to test cholesterol levels in all children 2 years and older.

Your child needs a cholesterol screening test if:

* Your family has a history of high cholesterol levels or heart diseases. If any male in the family had a heart stroke before the age of 55, then you should consider a cholesterol screening test for your child. The age criterion is 65 in case of females. However, if you are not very sure of the family history then a cholesterol screening test for children is recommended to be on the safer side.

* The overall health of your child is not in a positive state. In case your child suffers from problems like diabetes or hypertension, a cholesterol screening test becomes more than important. A cholesterol test is also recommended if your child has unhealthy habits like smoking or consuming foods that are rich in saturated fat or cholesterol.

* Your child is overweight. Children who are overweight are always at a high risk or high cholesterol levels. Children with Body Mass Index or BMI of or above 85 percentile need an immediate cholesterol screening test. One should calculate his/ her BMI at least once in a year.

Benefits of cholesterol screening test in children

There are several benefits of getting a cholesterol screening test in your children. One of them is that you get to know the problem before it takes over completely. The cholesterol screening test lets you know whether or not your child is running a risk of high cholesterol levels and heart diseases. Knowing the cholesterol level of your child helps you take preventive measures on time such as reducing the fat intake of your children, or increasing physical activity.

Recommended cholesterol levels for children

There is no point in getting a cholesterol screening test for children if you don't know how much is too much. Here are the recommended cholesterol levels for children.

 Table to determine appropriate level of cholesterol level:

                                
 

Total Cholesterol Levels

 
 

LDL Levels

 
 

Results

 
 

Less than 170

 
 

Less than 110

 
 

Acceptable level of Cholesterol

 
 

170 to 199

 
 

110 to 129

 
 

Borderline risk of Cholesterol

 
 

Above 200

 
 

Above 140

 
 

High Cholesterol risk

 
 


You will certainly not want to see your child suffer from a heart disease. Thus, it is important that you get the cholesterol screening test of your children done on time.