Universal Lipid Screening. Is This Really for Kids?

pediatric lipid screening in kidsUntil about 2 years ago the general recommendation for pediatricians was to only check cholesterol (lipids) on certain patients, namely those with risk factors such as being overweight, or those with a positive family history of high cholesterol or early heart disease. Now that has changed!

The new recommendation is to screen all children once between the ages of 9 and 11 years, and again between 17 and 21 years old.

Why the change?

One of the most important reasons for universal screening is that only about half the children who needed screening were getting checked when we relied on family history alone. Partly this is because not everyone knows their family history! A lot of parents don’t know their own cholesterol levels, and a lot of people aren’t sure of the details of their parents and grandparent’s medical history. Also – high cholesterol is potentially something we can improve with healthy lifestyle changes and isn’t that something we would want to know?

We have started doing lipid screening in our office at Lone Tree Pediatrics and we are excited to be able to offer this service.  It is a simple finger prick, and the results are available withing 5 minutes, so families can leave the office with their lipid panel results and guidelines for improvement if needed.

We have gained valuable information on some kids that we never would have expected. It’s nice to be able to offer a service like this for our families, and we hope we can all be motivated to take the next step to be a little healthier for our kids’ sake!

About Debra Berry

Dr. Debra Berry is a board-certified pediatrician in Lone Tree, Colorado providing comprehensive pediatric care at Lone Tree Pediatrics. Her primary goal as a physician is to help each of her patients live a healthy life and grow into a happy productive adult.