Lawd, These Kids Today! New Study Finds That Many Preteens Have High Cholesterol

Posted: May 30, 2014 in Shorts
Preteens With High Cholesterol

When people talk about cholesterol, they are usually speaking in terms of older adults, not young teenagers and certainly not preteens. So a recent study of preteens in the state of Texas no doubt took many by surprise when it reported that children in Texas as young as 9 years old have high cholesterol.

What the study uncovered about cholesterol in preteens

Routine physical exams showed that about one-third of preteens between the ages of 9 – 11 in Texas had borderline or high cholesterol. The study, which was conducted by Dr. Thomas Seery of Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, included 13,000 youths and was startling to doctors who pointed out how cholesterol will put these youth at greater risk for heart problems as they get older.

Why early screening is super important

Unlike adults, youth often do not show any signs of high cholesterol. They may not even look like the type; many are athletic and well within normal weight ranges. In fact, only about one third of the youth who participated in the screenings for the study were obese. Yet unhealthy levels of cholesterol were found in 34 percent of the youth. Almost half, 46 percent, had bad cholesterol levels that were too high or borderline.

The solution

Early screening is important to prevent cholesterol from causing heart problems. In most cases with youth, the problem can be remedied with a change in diet. That means less fast food and junk food, and more nutritious food. The guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening children between age 9 to 11 and again between the ages of 17 to 21 to ensure that cholesterol levels are kept in check.

 

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