One in five U.S. teenagers has high cholesterol

Jan 25, 2010 by Lin Edwards report

(PhysOrg.com) -- A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, has found that over 20% of teenagers in the U.S. have elevated cholesterol levels.

The national study covered 3,125 young people, whose results were collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2006. The data included measurements of (LDL or “bad” cholesterol), (HDL or “good” cholesterol), and triglycerides.

In adults, high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease because LDL cholesterol and triglycerides can clog the arteries. It is also associated with high blood pressure, strokes and diabetes. Unhealthy levels were at first associated with the middle-aged and elderly, but are increasingly beginning to appear in late childhood and the teenage years.

The study found 20.3% of the subjects, aged 12 to 19, had at least one abnormal cholesterol or lipid level, with more boys than girls affected (24% to 16%). High levels of LDL or triglycerides, and low HDL levels were associated with weight, and the heavier the teenagers were, the more likely they were to have abnormal levels (42.9% if they were obese), but even among those with normal body weight 14.2% had unhealthy levels. About one-third of the young people were overweight or obese, and would therefore be eligible for screening on this basis.

Leader of the study, Dr Ashleigh May, an epidemic intelligence service officer with CDC, described the results as “very concerning” and said that a large proportion of the young people had at least one abnormal level. May said they wanted to ensure doctors recommend lipid screening and lifestyle changes for young people, especially if they were overweight or obese. The study backs up a recommendation made by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008 that children and adolescents should have blood tests if they are overweight, smoke, have high blood pressure, or if there is a family history of elevated levels. The guidelines were controversial at the time because they recommended cholesterol-lowering drug treatments for children as young as eight (two years younger than previously recommended).

May emphasized that the best ways to reduce the risk of heart disease in the future was for young people to be active and to follow a healthy eating regime.

Explore further: Students' lunches from home fall short

More information: CDC report: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5902a1.htm

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deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2010
When 50% of the people who have heart attacks, AKA "events", have "high" cholesterol, that leaves 50% of people who have "events" w/ "normal" or "low" cholesterol. The relationship between total cholesterol and heart disease is very tenuous at best, as has been known for generations. But the correlation between how low "high" cholesterol is (arbitrarily) set and big PhRMA profits is extremely high.

The CDC answers to their overseers, Washington politicians. PhRMA has about 2 lobbyists for every senator and congress(wo)man and hands out a lot of cash (to Drs. too, under the guise of "education").
Thus the CDC recommendation that kids should be put on drugs to lower cholesterol if nothing else works.
Follow the money!