Teens & Cholesterol

The number one cause of death in the United States, for both men and women, is heart disease, and the amount of cholesterol in the blood greatly affects a person's chances of suffering from it. Pediatrician Dr. George Bengtson shared recent findings, and the guidelines, for having your teen's cholesterol tested.

"Growing evidence shows that the biological processes that precede heart attacks and cardiovascular disease begin in childhood, although they don't generally cause symptoms or lead to disease until middle age or later. Physical activity and healthy eating in childhood and adolescence—appropriately limiting unhealthy cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat—may protect against heart disease in adulthood.

In an effort to get an earlier start on cardiovascular prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a new guideline in 2011 that included the recommendation that youth get routine screening with tests for lipids, including cholesterol. A lipid profile typically includes the following tests: total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides. Non-HDL-cholesterol can also be calculated by subtracting the HDL-C value from the total cholesterol result." From labtestsonline.org

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