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June 26, 1991

Cholesterol's Effect on Patient Education

Author Affiliations

Clarkstown Pediatric Associates, PC Nanuet, NY

Clarkstown Pediatric Associates, PC Nanuet, NY

JAMA. 1991;265(24):3249. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460240045024

To the Editor.—  The question of whether to do routine cholesterol screening in children is one that is being hotly debated across the country.1 I wish to make reference to an epiphenomenon that my practice group of pediatricians sees every day. We do routine cholesterol screening for children as young as 3 years. If the cholesterol level is higher than 4.70 mmol/L (180 mg/dL), a letter and suggested dietary changes are sent to the parents and another appointment is suggested, after the child follows the diet plan for about 2 months. We follow up lipid or cholesterol levels as indicated.Regardless of the cholesterol level, we have found that, by focusing on it, we have improved the diets of our patients enormously. The impetus for this improvement, I feel, is not our letter and the enclosed diet, but rather the parents' concern over their family's cholesterol levels, a concern