Lipid Screening

In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new recommendations regarding lipid screening and cardiovascular health. This report has taken on new urgency given the current epidemic of childhood obesity with the subsequent increasing risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in older children and adults. The report recommends screening children and adolescents with a fasting lipid profile, and focuses on lowering the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • The current recommendation is to screen toddlers and school-age children with a positive family history of high cholesterol or lipids, or early cardiovascular disease. Other family history risk factors of interest are: obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. For children with positive family history risk factors, the first screening should take place after 2 years of age but no later than 10 years of age. Screening before 2 years of age is not recommended. If values are within the reference range on initial screening, the patient should be retested in 3 to 5 years.
  • Universal lipid screening is also recommended for all children around the ages of 9 or 10 years, regardless of any risk factors.
  • Overweight children belong to a special risk category of children and are in need of cholesterol screening regardless of family history or other risk factors.

Lipid screening tests are ordered as an outpatient lab at the hospital and should be drawn when your child is fasting. We recommend having the lab drawn first thing in the morning, before your child eats or drinks.  It is ok to drink water prior to the lab draw.

Please call the office if you have any questions or concerns regarding the lipid screening recommendations for your child.