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Concerning number of kids have elevated cholesterol
Date:3/28/2014

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2014) Roughly one out of three kids screened for high cholesterol between the ages of 9 and 11 has borderline or high cholesterol, potentially placing them at greater risk for future cardiovascular disease, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

In one of the largest studies of outpatient pediatric clinic visits to date, researchers examined the medical records of 12,712 children who had screening for cholesterol levels as part of a routine physical exam within the Texas Children's Pediatrics Associates clinics, the nation's largest pediatric primary care organization. Of these, 4,709, or 30 percent, had borderline or elevated total cholesterol as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program.

"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 Thomas Seery, M.D., pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children's Hospital, assistant professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, and the lead investigator of the study. "But we can only intervene if we diagnose the problem."

While cardiovascular disease in children is rare, the presence of certain risk factors in childhood can increase the chances of developing heart disease as an adult. Previous studies have demonstrated that atherosclerosis a hardening and narrowing of the arteries can begin in childhood.

"We know that higher levels of, and cumulative exposure to, high cholesterol is associated with the development and severity of atherosclerosis," Seery said. "If we can identify and work to lower cholesterol in children, we can potentially make a positive impact by stalling vascular changes and reducing the chances of future disease." He said that this is especially important amid the growing obesity epidemic, which is resulting in a larger pop
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Contact: Beth Casteel
bcasteel@acc.org
202-375-6275
American College of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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