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Medical News & Perspectives
September 1, 2010

Screening Misses High LDL in Many Youths

JAMA. 2010;304(9):952-953. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1219

An article by West Virginia researchers argues for universal lipid-level screening of all children in the United States because current testing practices miss a significant number with abnormally high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). The article's release in July comes as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is preparing its Pediatric Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Guidelines, scheduled for publication by year’s end.

Once children with high LDL-C levels are identified, the researchers note, lifestyle modification or treatment might help them reduce cardiovascular risks later in life. Still, while proper diet and adequate exercise provide benefits in warding off many conditions, including cardiovascular disease, little is known about the long-term benefits and risks of medical therapy to treat abnormal lipid levels.

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