News Release

Friday, November 18, 2011

Contact: Greg Raver-Lampman, 668-7554

CHKD endorses cholesterol testing for children as young as 9

HAMPTON ROADS, Va.—The medical director of CHKD’s 15 pediatric practices is calling for testing and treatment of children as young as 9 for elevated cholesterol, even if they have no risk factors, following recommendations endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“I believe this fits with CHKD’s primary mission, improving the health of children in our region,” said Dr. Hugh McPhee, the medical director of CHKD’s Children’s Medical Group and a pediatrician at Pediatric Diagnostic Center.

Previously, cholesterol screening was performed for children with risk factors such as excess weight or familial history of cholesterol or heart problems, but a study conducted by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that many children with elevated cholesterol were missed. Although children do not tend to suffer the affects or cardiovascular disease while they are young, those with higher cholesterol tend to have more heart disease as adults, the study found.

McPhee suggested that parents consult their pediatricians about getting the test.

McPhee also cautions that because the cholesterol screenin recommendations are relatively new, insurance may not cover the costs of the laboratory tests performed at non-CHKD facilities. Parents should check with thier insurer as well.