Archive for Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kids’ cholesterol study reassuring, doctors say

February 17, 2009

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— Fewer than 1 percent of American teens are likely to need cholesterol drugs, says a new study that offers some reassuring news on the childhood obesity front.

Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued eyebrow-raising new guidelines: Doctors were urged to consider cholesterol drugs for more kids, even as young as 8, if they had high levels of “bad cholesterol,” or LDL, along with other health problems like obesity and high blood pressure.

The academy didn’t address how many children might fall into that category. Now, a new study published online Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation helps allay concerns that “many, many” children might need to be on cholesterol drugs, said Dr. Stephen Daniels, lead author of the pediatric guidelines.

The new pediatrics guidance was based on growing evidence that damage leading to heart disease begins early in life. At the same time, recent research has shown that cholesterol-fighting drugs are generally safe for children.

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