Are medications needed in children?
Medications are rarely needed in children. If cholesterol problems are detected at a young age, then focused, healthy changes in nutrition and exercise can make a big impact. However, one of the reasons for testing cholesterol levels in all children is to find those children and families with a disorder called Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) (See also Why test cholesterol in kids?). Individuals with FH can develop artery blockages and health problems at young ages due to an inherited and more severe cholesterol problem. If your child has elevated cholesterol that is not responding to diet changes, then you may want to see an expert in cholesterol problems in children, such as a lipidologist, to discuss medications before starting them. Current guidelines recommend seeing a lipid specialist if a child’s LDL cholesterol is >250mg/dL, triglycerides are >500mg/dL, or if a child has had an intolerance to medication or a child’s cholesterol has not responded to a trial of medication.
You can learn more information about FH from:
The FH Foundation: www.thefhfoundation.org
Learn Your Lipids: www.learnyourlipids.com
You can find a cholesterol specialist in your area at:
National Lipids Association: Find a Member