How should high cholesterol in children be treated?
Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D.
The first treatment approach for high cholesterol in children involves lifestyle changes that can benefit the entire family: Lose weight, eat healthy foods, and exercise more.
In particular, avoid processed foods that contain large amounts of saturated fats and sugars. Be more active throughout the day and minimize the amount of time spent in front of computers, tablets, televisions and phones.
Your doctor might suggest cholesterol medications if your child:
- Continues to have high cholesterol despite lifestyle changes
- Is at least 10 years old
- Has other health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- Has a genetic type of high cholesterol
It's important to reduce high cholesterol in children because the condition can lead to narrowed and hardened arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease later in life.
M. Regina Castro, M.D.
Oct. 10, 2014
- Expert panel on integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: Summary report. Pediatrics. 2011;128:S213.
- De Ferranti SD, et al. Management of pediatric dyslipidemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 25, 2014.
- Bamba V. Update on screening, etiology and treatment of dyslipidemia in children. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. In press. May 21, 2014. Accessed July 25, 2014.