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Many children have unhealthy cholesterol, study finds

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Adults commonly receive cholesterol testing that reveals their levels of both good and bad fats in their arteries, but few children are given this test. However, new evidence suggests that it may be time to start providing this service to more young people.

A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan showed that many children have dangerously low levels of the good form of cholesterol known as HDL, according to Health Canal. This substance has been shown to sweep the arteries of dangerous buildups that cause heart attacks and strokes.

Low levels of HDL, particularly in childhood, may predispose individuals to a lifetime of cardiovascular complications. It may also require them to take medications to moderate cholesterol levels for their entire lives, which can become expensive. The researchers said that the findings of their study show that it may be time to start paying more attention to cholesterol levels in kids.

"Cardiovascular disease doesn't just start in adulthood, and there may be factors that could help us identify during youth or adolescence who might be at increased risk for developing health problems later on," Elizabeth Jackson, who led the study, told the news source.

Similar studies have shown that childhood obesity is also rising and some experts believe that the two conditions may be linked.

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