Beyond that, there's also the cost to the child's self-image. "The child will find that they are no longer a healthy 8-year-old but are sick," Margolis said.
The overuse of statin drugs could also cause families to miss out on the chance to improve every member's health. "Rather than have the family as a whole initiate healthy lifestyle habits, they'll instead say, 'Well, we'll just take this pill,'" Margolis said.
Some doctors are also concerned about the effects that decades of statin treatment could have on the long-term health of someone who begins taking them in adolescence.
"Nobody has taken them for 60 years, so we don't know what will happen," Margolis said. However, he added that he is not as concerned about the long-term health risks as he is about the other costs to society.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on raising safe and healthy kids.
SOURCES: Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D., professor, medicine and biological chemistry, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Stephen R. Daniels, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chairman, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and Children's Hospital, Denver; Feb. 16, 2009, Circulation, online
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