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The state of U.S. kids' cholesterol levels--not great

January 21, 2010 |  2:41 pm

Here's a report from the CDC on the state of the lipid levels of U.S. youth, based on 1999-2006 data. Scientists at the agency have found that 20% of kids age 12-19 years have at least one abnormal lipid level -- of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol or triglycerides. Not surprisingly, those rates were higher among overweight and obese kids. The findings were published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (which is a ghoulishly wonderful name for a journal).

The breakdown:

14% of normal-weight kids had an abnormality,

as did 22% of overweight kids

and 43% of obese kids.

Abnormal lipids are risk factors for heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening of kids over age 2 for their blood lipids based on their heart disease risk, and recommends lifestyle counseling for those who are found with lipid abnormalities and other risk factors such as high blood pressure or body mass.

-- Rosie Mestel