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Commentaries
January 1, 1992

The Predictive Value of Childhood Cholesterol ScreeningA Response

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health (Drs Clarke and Lauer) and Pediatrics (Dr Lauer), University of Iowa, Iowa City.

From the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health (Drs Clarke and Lauer) and Pediatrics (Dr Lauer), University of Iowa, Iowa City.

JAMA. 1992;267(1):101-102. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480010109035
Abstract

A RECENT commentary in THE JOURNAL, "The Case Against 'the Case Against Childhood Cholesterol Screening,'" by Resnicow et al,1 questioned the methods and reasoning of our work evaluating the use of screening cholesterol levels in childhood to predict adult hypercholesterolemia.2

Resnicow et al question our method of calculating the sensitivity and predictive value of childhood cholesterol levels in relation to adult hypercholesterolemia. We accepted the cutpoint suggested by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel for the identification of adults who require individual treatment by a health care professional. Resnicow et al are correct in indicating that this resulted in asking what percentage of adults (age 20 to 30 years) with cholesterol levels above about the 80th percentile had values greater than the 90th percentile as children. They indicate that this results in a test the sensitivity of which could not exceed 50%. While

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