Cholestrol

LDL Cholesterol in Children

Most people think that high cholesterol can occur only in adults. But, research has found that high cholesterol can start to form as early as childhood. High cholesterol can happens to children with no difference from adults. The reason is that high cholesterol is closely linked with genetics, diet and obesity. High cholesterol is the main risk factor of heart diseases. However, one can change to a certain lifestyle and lower the blood cholesterol (LDL) before it leads to many serious health problems, including heart diseases.

Facts about the cholesterol:

Cholesterol produce by the liver is around 1,000 milligrams per day, which is enough for your body. So, you body don’t required extra cholesterol from the foods you eat. This extra cholesterol is mainly obtained from the animal products.

There are two types of cholesterol namely, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). These low-density lipoproteins are the main cholesterol transporters, which is also called bad cholesterol (LDL). Too much of LDL cholesterol in the blood leads to the formation of plaque in the arteries and restricted blood vessels.

Optimal Level of LDL cholesterol in Children:

The National Cholesterol Program suggested that the optimal LDL cholesterol level for children with 2-l8 years should be lower than 110 mg/dL. If the level is in the range of 110-129 mg/dL, it is considered as borderline. Anything higher than 129 mg/dL can be considered high and in higher risk of heart diseases.

Main Risk Factors:

  • Children with a family history of heart diseases before the age of 65 in women and 55 in men are likely to have higher risk of high LDL cholesterol.
  • In addition, children having parents with more than 240 mg/dL of total cholesterol levels may have greater risk.
  • Obese children with minimal exercise or physical activity can have higher risk of developing high LDL cholesterol.

Prevention:

Maintaining a proper diet with regular physical activity can control LDL cholesterol levels. Include more fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains in their diet. Avoid sugary foods and animal based foods as much as possible and if taking animal products, they should be lean cut. Always opt for low fat foods.

Considerations:

  • Children with 170 mg/dL of LDL cholesterol levels or above, dietary counseling is strictly recommended and find ways to cut the intake of cholesterol and fats in their diet along with more physical activity.
  • Children who have already 8 years and above, a physician or a doctor may recommend medication, if their LDL cholesterol levels are more than 190 mg/dL. Often, many doctors prescribe a statin, which is one of the most effective cholesterol lowering drugs.

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