What patients and families need to know
Preventive Cardiology Program
Cholesterol: How It Impacts Your Child
Cholesterol plays both a good and bad role in your child's health.
The Preventive Cardiology Program works to improve the diets and lifestyles of our patients in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Children who at risk for developing heart disease benefit from our program, where they learn how to make healthy diet choices and exercise regularly.
Preventive Cardiology Program at Children’s National
Children who are overweight are at greater risk for developing heart disease. Other risk factors for heart disease include:
- Abnormal cholesterol
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Lack of exercise
- Tobacco use
Obesity Program IDEAL Clinic
Our Obesity Program brings together an expert team of health professionals dedicated to preventing and treating childhood obesity. Our family-centered program addresses the many factors that contribute to childhood obesity. We work with children and families to create a personalized lifestyle plan that helps them maintain a healthy weight. Learn more about our Obesity Program IDEAL Clinic.
Cholesterol Screening for Children
High cholesterol is another risk factor for developing heart disease. Research shows that children with high cholesterol levels have an increased risk for cardiovascular disorders, but that early treatment is effective. Many times, treatment is a combination of eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Cholesterol Screening: When Should Children Be Screened?
Cholesterol screening helps us identify these children so we can take steps to help lower their risk. Guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as from the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend children undergo cholesterol screening twice:
- Between the ages of 9 and 11
- Between the ages of 17 and 21
If your child has a history of cholesterol disorder and/or if there is a history of premature heart disease in close family members, he or she should undergo a screening even younger, at around 2 years of age. Talk to your pediatrician to find out when your child should get screened. One of the cholesterol tests for children, called the universal lipid profile, can now be done non-fasting, which is more comfortable for children.
To make an appointment with our experienced pediatric heart team, please call 202-476-2020. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preventive Cardiology Program Team