CREATED May. 22, 2013
It's a problem not often associated with youngsters, but some doctors are pushing parents to get their kid's cholesterol checked.
You wouldn't know it to watching her compete in cheerleading, but thirteen-year-old Kennedy Jefferson could easily be on track for a heart attack in her twenties or thirties. Cara Jefferson, the mother of Kennedy, said, "You wouldn't have looked at her and thought she had any, nothing wrong, I mean, everything else across the board is fine." Except Kennedy's cholesterol.
"Anything over two hundred is too high, and hers was about three hundred and sixty. Yeah, through the roof." Kennedy's mom, Cara, had the same problem too as a kid, and still does. That's why Cara had Kennedy's cholesterol tested when she was just seven-years-old. "They did give me a hard time about testing her. They didn't want to draw her blood. It was a good thing that i did."
The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks all kids between ages nine to eleven should have their cholesterol checked too. Doctors do targeted cholesterol testing on kids. "Family history of early heart disease, hyper tension, Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and also body mass index above the ninety-seventh percentile," said Dr. Mona Zawaideh, pediatrician. But, even kids who aren't obese can still be at risk.
According to research, early intervention can dramatically reverse the damage to a young person's arteries.