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When total cholesterol levels -- which include both LDL and "good" cholesterol, HDL -- were measured for all ages, 6-17, researchers found that roughly 10 percent had levels that were too high.
The study doesn't provide specifics for one of the more disturbing aspects of the new pediatrics guidelines: that some children as young as 8 might need cholesterol-fighting pills. LDL readings for children under age 12 weren't available.
However, Ford believes the results from the older group probably apply to the younger children as well.
"This just confirms that it's a conservative set of recommendations," said Daniels, pediatrician-in-chief at Children's Hospital in Denver.
Cardiologist Dr. William Scott, a pediatrics professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said that unless a child has a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, regular exercise and an appropriate diet will help keep cholesterol in check.
"You really are empowered by your diet and activity," said Scott.
On the Net:
American Heart Association: http://www.americanheart.org/
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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