What Triggers High Cholesterol In Children


obese child

Many people believe that heart disease, stroke and other vascular problems is a disease for adults. But now these diseases is also a concern among children and teenagers.

According to the center of disease control and prevention of Americans (CDC), the incidence of overweight in children and teenagers (aged 6-18 years) has increased by three times compared to the year 1970. This has sparked fears the emergence of vascular disease at an early age.

Living lazy lifestyle and nutritional needs are not met is suspected to be the cause of obesity in children.

Today the every day activities of the children are filled with just sitting watching television, playing computer games or other technologies.  Often consuming fast foods and processed foods also have been a factor.

But weight and lifestyle factors is not the absolute cause of the problem. Heart disease is also influenced by genetic factors, if a family member who has a medical history of heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure. Thus increasing the chances of a child having atherosclerosis, cholesterol and lipid abnormalities.

In the July 2008 edition of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines explain about the lipids examination in children and heart health. Because of the increasing cases of obesity, the AAP recommends initial lipids examination in children aged 2-10 years.

As quoted from DiscoveryHealth, Thursday (1/4/2010), there are some things which are risk factors in children, namely:

1. Being overweight or obese
2. Having diabetes
3. Having a family history of high cholesterol or premature heart disease.

According to the AAP, children and teenagers aged 12-18 years should have a total cholesterol level of less than 170 mg / dl, LDL (bad cholesterol) less than 110 mg / dl, HDL (good cholesterol) 35 mg / dl or more and high triglyceride levels of less than 150 mg / dl.

If the result is normal, then the test can be repeated again the next 3-5 years. But if the results showed high cholesterol, they should be referred to a pediatric cardiologist.

For child overweight and obesity, the change in lifestyle is the first step that must be done. Nutritional consultation can help parents to adopt a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. In addition to reproduce the physical activity of 60 minutes or more each day.

Up to now the use of drugs to overcome the problem of cholesterol in children remains controversial due to the absence of long-term data on the use of the drug. Changes in lifestyle and eating habits is still the main recommendations to overcome the problem of children’s cholesterol.