Kids & Cholesterol

Are you aware that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease? Unfortunately, while this is the case, we don’t generally associate heart disease with children. Nor do we realize that certain childhood habits and behaviors along with a genetic predisposition can pave the way for our experiences in adulthood.

What am I talking about? Well, research has shown that cholesterol levels that are high and/or abnormal pose a major risk for stroke and heart disease even in children. You probably thought that this was just an issue that only adults deal with, but it’s not uncommon to see it in children as well.

The CDC reported, Nearly 29 million adult Americans have total cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dL. 7% of U.S. children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 have high total cholesterol. High cholesterol has no symptoms, so many people don’t know that their cholesterol is too high.

Oddly enough, in the same way that two people can have the same virus and have different outcomes, it is possible for high or abnormal cholesterol, commonly known as Dyslipidemia, to be hard to detect and for some to be completely asymptomatic, which makes it one of those sneaky risk factors in children.

I mean, think about this for a moment. Did you realize that children who have normal body weight and lead a relatively active lifestyle, can also be at risk for heart disease, and stroke? We often focus on just those who are overweight, but it’s very important to be vigilant about the health, and overall well-being of our children.

We can start ensuring that our children attend their annual well visit. Pediatricians are aware of and can provide screening (a simple blood test), especially if a child has a family history of high cholesterol. If the doctor does not make the recommendation for the child to be screened, then we as parents need to advocate for our children to reduce their risk of developing heart disease later in life. Based on medical guidelines, this should ideally be done before puberty (around ages 7 to 9), and after puberty (between ages 17 to 21).

Here are a few asked questions:

  1. What is the normal cholesterol level for a child?

High cholesterol in children and adults is defined as total cholesterol over 200 mg/dL. Specifically, LDL or triglycerides greater than 130 mg/dL or HDL less than 40 mg/L are considered abnormal. For children, staying under these levels is considered healthy.

  1. When should my child get a cholesterol test?

Cholesterol Levels in Children and Adolescents Page Content The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all children between 9 and 11 years old are screened for high blood cholesterol levels due to the growing epidemic of obesity in children.

If as parents we’ve been too lax in the training of our children in their diet, habits, and lifestyle choices, then it’s our responsibility to make necessary changes to steer them in the right direction. In some cases, medication might be recommended to address the health concerns until they are corrected.

Taking these measures can greatly impact our children’s health and future in a positive way. What do you have to lose? The precious life in your care can either be extended or shortened by your choices. So, take a minute right now to examine your own family, and if this topic hits home, it’s definitely time to make a change. Don’t delay. Start today!

For more information, please visit us online at Sir Rob Reid dot com. There we address all things practical, financial, and spiritual for your personal and professional development. Also, check us on social media and be sure to like, comment, subscribe, and repost items of interest to you. Thanks, and God bless you. Team

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