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Children may not need to fast prior to cholesterol tests

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Thanks in part to the rising rates of obesity among children, more young people than ever are being sent for cholesterol testing. Yet, unlike many adults who go for the procedure, children may not need to fast prior, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

For the study, researchers from the University of North Carolina reviewed the data from nearly 13,000 pediatric cholesterol tests. The results showed that there was little difference when a child fasted before the test, compared to when they were allowed to eat prior to the procedure.

On the whole, cholesterol test results tended to be lower among children who fasted prior to the procedure. However, these differences were deemed minimal by the researchers, who said that there appeared to be little clinical difference in the results.

The researchers said that cholesterol screening in general can be more of an ordeal for young people than it is for their parents. However, doctors may be able to reduce a significant amount of the burden associated with the procedure by removing the requirement for patients to fast prior to testing.

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