Around one out of every five American teenagers have high cholesterol levels, according to federal health officials. Unfortunately, these high levels of cholesterol can lead to heart disease.
Obese children were found to be at the highest risk for abnormal “blood lipid” levels, with 43% testing outside the normal ranges, according to the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blood tests on 3,125 children were performed from 1999 to 2006 to obtain these results.
Lipids are the fatty substances in the blood that often lead to plaque build-up in the arteries and the early stages of heart disease. It is recommended that children with high lipid levels get counseling so they can improve their diet and exercise habits. Cholesterol drugs are also given to adults along with improved health habits. The CDC claims that around 1% of children have high cholesterol that is treatable with drugs.
LDL, or bad cholesterol, and HDL, good cholesterol, and triglycerides were measured in the study. Adults who have higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are at an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes from heart disease. Studies have revealed that increased levels of the good kind of cholesterol can help get rid of harmful fats.
The CDC says that the leading cause of death for adults in the U.S. is heart disease, which causes around 630,000 deaths every year. Children and teenagers having high lipid levels are at a higher risk for developing heart disease when they become adults.