Teen Cholesterol

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One in five American teens has unhealthy cholesterol levels, putting them on the fast track for heart disease. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this teen cholesterol problem in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Twenty percent of young people ages 12 to 19 in the United States have at least one abnormal cholesterol or lipid level.

Unhealthy lipid levels are a leading risk factor for heart disease and death among adults.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control showed 43 percent of obese teens had unhealthy cholesterol levels, compared with only 14 percent of normal-weight teens and 22 percent of overweight teens.

Researchers reviewed health indicators for more than 3,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 19 from 1999 to 2006.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends cholesterol screening for young people with a family history of high cholesterol, early heart disease or at least one major risk factor for heart disease, such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes or overweight and obesity. Fifteen percent of the youths were overweight and 17 percent were obese based on body mass index.

Researchers say screening teens for unhealthy cholesterol and lipid levels would help identify those at greatest risk for heart disease.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.