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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
Toward the end of last year, federal agencies recommended that all children receive cholesterol testing at some point. The idea behind this recommendation is to spot the small number of young people who will prematurely develop heart disease.
However, a new commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that the recommendation may have unintended consequences.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School wrote that just four years ago, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommended against administering routine cholesterol tests to children. There seems to have been little new evidence emerge since this recommendation that would warrant a change to guidelines.
However, the team wrote that this did not stop the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute from advising doctors to administer cholesterol tests to children. This can be a problem, as many children will likely be labeled as having high cholesterol even if their levels are borderline. This may lead to undue anxiety among the child and his or her parents.
Ultimately, parents should talk to their child's pediatrician about whether or not cholesterol testing would be appropriate.
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