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Keywords:

  • Cholesterol screening;
  • Family history;
  • Hyperlipidemia

Abstract

Aim: Hyperlipidemia is a major factor accompanying atherosclerosis. As the basis of atherosclerotic heart disease begins at early childhood, we aim to find out which children should be tested for hypercholesterolemia, what the high cholesterol level in children is and what cautions should be taken to avoid atherosclerosis.

Methods: The study was carried on 2096 school children (1043 male, 1053 female) in Ankara. Their mean age was 9.03 years. Demographic properties of the study group and their families were determined and the serum lipid levels of the subjects were obtained. The relation between these demographic properties and lipid levels were investigated.

Results: In 135 of the subjects' serum cholesterol level was ≥200 mg/dL and in 83 subjects serum LDL-cholesterol level was ≥130 mg/dL. Despite 64.4% of the subjects reported a family history of hyperlipidemia, no relations between family history and serum lipid levels were found.

Conclusion: We suggest that regardless of family history, all children over 5 years should be screened for hyperlipidemia. Education about hyperlipidemia and precautions for its complications should be given to both children and families. The best and easiest way to reach children is to screen them at schools. School is also a good place for education of children about hyperlipidemia and risk factors.