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Children May Have Cholesterol Problems, Too
Date:2/5/2008

ty and in pediatric primary care practices. Children with FH have no symptoms or signs of their condition and often do not fit the profile of someone who is at risk; they usually have a normal weight and a healthy lifestyle and diet. However, in addition to a family history of high cholesterol, they usually have a family history of early heart disease. Children with a parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, or uncle with high cholesterol or who has suffered a cardiac event before the age of 55 should be routinely monitored.

Children who are overweight or obese should also have their cholesterol levels routinely screened by pediatric healthcare professionals, as this also places them at increased risk of developing early heart disease.

It is important to differentiate between obese children with high cholesterol and those with FH, which is not traditionally associated with obesity; however, with the obesity epidemic, many children with FH now also are overweight or obese.

"Cholesterol levels in children who are obese usually respond well to diet and lifestyle modifications, whereas children with FH often need medications in addition to diet and exercise," added Dr. Brothers.

Modifications to diet and increased physical activity are the first-line treatments for children identified with raised cholesterol levels. Another option is putting a child on statin therapy, which is a lifetime commitment.

The Lipid Heart Clinic at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia evaluates and treats children and adolescents who have high levels of lipids (fats) in their blood. Elevated lipids put young people at risk for heart disease later in life.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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