UW Health: Kids have high cholesterol more often than one might think
MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - Kids have high cholesterol more often than one might think, according to a UW Health Kids expert.
A media release from UW Health says as many as one in five children have an abnormal cholesterol count, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
High cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease and while adults make up an overwhelming majority of patients who take cholesterol medication, there is an increasing number of children being diagnosed with high cholesterol, according to Dr. Amy Peterson, cardiologist, UW Health Kids, and director, UW Health Kids Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic.
Dr. Peterson said a cholesterol screening could help stave off serious heart disease or even death.
“If kids with high cholesterol get medical care early, they have a great chance of lowering their risk for heart disease before they grow into adulthood,” Peterson said. “Lifestyle changes are never easy, but it can be less challenging for someone to change their lifestyle as a child or teenager rather than as a person in their 40s and 50s.”
Cholesterol is a fatty substance in the bloodstream, and while some cholesterol is necessary for the body to work properly, when a person has too much cholesterol in their blood it increases their risk of health problems like a stroke or heart attack, according to Dr. Peterson.
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