Preventive Cardiology Clinic | Clinician Resources

Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health & Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents

from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLB)

Below are comments from the Preventive Cardiology Program and specific provisions extracted from the NHLBI guidelines that may help you manage your approach to CVD risk reduction in your patients.

Why these screening guidelines are important

  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the single largest cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S.
  • Obesity is a major acquired contributor to CVD that will undoubtedly over-burden our healthcare system and all of us as health care providers in the coming years.
  • In a single document, these guidelines raise consciousness about both genetic disorders and obesity-related lifestyle characteristics.
  • Roughly 20% of children have a lipid disorder

Key new screening guidelines for:

How to think about these guidelines

These guidelines are a reasonable starting point for addressing burgeoning CVD risk in the US population, and they require serious consideration. But the guidelines do have limitations. For example, the literature reviewed is already somewhat out of date due to the lengthy governmental review. Emerging data suggests more aggressive evaluation of weight for height in infants, the importance of sleep and stress as CVD risk factors, and novel risk factors such as Lp(a). Importantly, the burden of the guidelines on patients and families, on providers and on the health care system has yet to be explored.

We want to hear from you

We are interested in discussing these issues with you. As primary care providers who are expert in screening and health maintenance, your perspective and experience are extremely important and valuable to us. To consult with one of our pediatric preventive cardiologists, please call 617-355-0955, or email