Hypercholesterolemia in children

Is it possible for a child to have high cholesterol?

Yes, unfortunately, high cholesterol levels are not only found in adults but also in children.

Hypercholesterolemia is increasingly seen in children, due to the modern lifestyle characterized by unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

Increased cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia in children can cause the formation of atheromatous plaque in the vessels with subsequent diseases of the heart and vessels.

The most common causes are:

1. Familial hypercholesterolemia

2. Unhealthy diet

3. Obesity

The test is a simple and short procedure and is done through blood sampling.

When should I test my child’s cholesterol?

According to international guidelines:

► All children should be screened at age 9-11 and if values are normal, screen should be repeated at age 17-21.

► Children over 2 years of age should be screened if:

  • At least one parent or close relative has cholesterol > 240 mg/dL.
  • If there is a family history of early cardiovascular disease before age 55 for men and before age 65 for women.
  • If they have diseases such as kidney disease, Kawasaki disease or idiopathic juvenile arthritis.
  • If they are obese or overweight.
  • If they have diabetes or hypertension.

► Testing is not recommended for children under 2 years of age.