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Preventive Cardiology Program

Contact number | 202-476-2020
female patient with a doctor

Cholesterol: How It Impacts Your Child

Cholesterol plays both a good and bad role in your child's health.

Learn more

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.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with our experienced pediatric heart team, please call 202-476-2020. You can also email us at [email protected].

Preventive Cardiology Program Team

  • Sarah Clauss

    Sarah Clauss
    Advanced Imaging Cardiologist

  • Ashraf Harahsheh

    Ashraf Harahsheh
    Director, Quality Outcomes in Cardiology
    Director, Kawasaki Disease Program
    Director, Cardiology Resident Education
    Medical Unit Director, Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg

  • Michele Mietus Snyder

    Michele Mietus Snyder