The winding stream of science.
Last week the journal Pediatrics published a study promoting universal cholesterol screening for kids. This week’s Pediatrics publishes a study with a quite different perspective.
Very high cholesterol levels in kids may decline over time even without intervention, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found.
The findings add to an ongoing debate over the importance of high cholesterol in children, and whether cholesterol-lowering drugs are appropriate when changes in diet and physical activity don’t cut it.
Such drugs, including statins, are used in adults to reduce the risk of heart disease, a major killer in Western countries. But it isn’t clear if they also work for kids.
The new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, shows that after a few years, some youngsters with high cholesterol would no longer be considered for drug treatment according to guidelines.
While this isn’t an argument to abandon drug therapy altogether, doctors shouldn’t jump the gun when treating kids for cholesterol, the researchers caution.
“Both in kids and in adults there is quite a bit of variability over time,” David S. Freedman of the CDC told Reuters Health. “People with very, very high cholesterol are likely to be those that are having a bad cholesterol day.”