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According to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), focus is shifting to begin monitoring cholesterol levels in children and adolescents, as an estimated one in five children have at least one abnormal cholesterol measure.
Abnormal cholesterol measures include high total cholesterol, low HDL or “good” cholesterol, or high non-HDL cholesterol, a measure that includes “bad” LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein plus cholesterol found in potentially atherogenic lipoprotein particles – those that tend to promote plaque build-up in arteries.
“These are all sorts of issues that have historically been viewed as more of adult issues that we’re now starting to recognize are important in children and adolescents,” says Dr. Stephen Daniels, pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Though the rate of abnormal cholesterol measures in kids and adolescents has stayed relatively steady in recent years, the latest report – which provides 2011 to 2014 estimates – highlights the association between childhood obesity and concerning cholesterol numbers that could spell cardiovascular trouble, such as leading to heart attacks and strokes later in life.