MASS SCREENING for elevated serum cholesterol values should begin in childhood. This recommendation, counter to the current position taken by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), was made by two teams of investigators at recent American Heart Association meetings.
In a statement published in January (Pediatrics. 1989; 83:141-142), the AAP's committee on nutrition states, "a child with a family history of either early coronary heart disease or hyperlipidemia should have a complete evaluation, including serum or plasma measurement of cholesterol, other lipids, and lipoproteins. On the other hand, the Committee on Nutrition does not favor universal testing of blood cholesterol levels of children either in the hospital or in the office of the private physician."
"We need a big push to change this kind of thinking and start screening for primary risk factors in kids," says Gerald S. Berenson, MD, chief of the Section of Cardiology at Louisiana State University