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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Learn more about our ranking as the top pediatric hospital here.
High cholesterol is a risk for many Americans. Consider these statistics:
Many physicians are now beginning to realize that children and adolescents are increasingly at risk for high blood cholesterol levels as a result of one or more of the following:
Elevated triglyceride levels may be caused by medical conditions such as:
Dietary causes of elevated triglyceride levels may include obesity and high intakes of fat and concentrated sweets.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a division of the National Institutes of Health, recommends that cholesterol testing begin at age 2 for any child who has:
The NHLBI also recommends that children and adolescents who have demonstrated risk factors, such as obesity, should have cholesterol and other lipids, including triglycerides, tested periodically by their physicians.
A simple blood test is used to check cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Your child’s doctor will be able to determine total cholesterol as well as the HDL and LDL levels.
In general, healthy levels are as follows:
The NHLBI recommends the following guidelines for cholesterol levels in children and teenagers (ages 2 to 19) from families with high blood cholesterol or early heart disease:
A healthy triglyceride level is less than 150 mg.
To help lower LDL levels, help your child to:
It is often possible to raise HDL by:
You can often also manage your child’s triglyceride level with lifestyle changes involving changes in diet—particularly increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish) and eating fewer simple carbohydrates such as bread and pasta—and increased exercise.
In some cases, your child’s doctor may prescribe medication to manage cholesterol and triglyceride levels, especially when diet and exercise don’t produce the desired results.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”