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New Screening Guidelines for Kids

On November 15, 2011, the NIH’s National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released some new recommendations about achieving and maintaining good heart health. The Institute covered a lot of topics. Here are some highlights that may be important for your family:

  • Cholesterol screening should be done for all children once between ages 9 and 11 years, and again once between 17 and 21 years.
  • Non-fasting testing is a good alternative for this universal screening.
  • Children at high risk for cholesterol problems related to their family history should still have cholesterol testing done once every 3-5 years starting at age 2 years.
  • Low-fat dairy may be recommended by your doctor as early as 1 year in some situations.
  • The recommended diet depends on the type of lipid or cholesterol problem your child has—low/better carbohydrates for high triglycerides, low/better fats for high LDL cholesterol.

There are many recommendations for good heart health in the NHLBI guidelines. Your doctor can provide guidance about what best applies to your child.

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