High Cholesterol in Children

Adults are not the only people affected by high cholesterol. Children may also have high levels of cholesterol, which can lead to heart diseases when the child gets older. Too much cholesterol leads to the build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries, which supply blood to the heart and other organs. Plaque can narrow the arteries and block the blood flow to the heart, causing heart problems and stroke.

Believe it or not, cholesterol plaque deposition in arteries starts right from childhood. It grows slowly and silently. However, the speed of deposition mainly depends upon one’s family history and lifestyle. Though, the symptoms are visible after 40’s or maybe earlier in some cases. But this is true that the cholesterol plaque deposition in arteries starts right from childhood.

The big question is why this deposition starts so early in the age of innocence? Cholesterol levels in children are mostly linked to three risk factors: Heredity, Obesity and Diet.

The parents who have a history of high cholesterol/ heart ailments must get their children tested for cholesterol regularly to monitor the same. American Heart Association recommends screening of a child immediately after he/she is two years old if the parents have a medical history of heart diseases. In normal cases, as recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children should be screened once between the ages of 9 and 11 years and again between 17 and 21 years to keep a check on cholesterol levels.

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