19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



Facebook    

 

SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace

 

 

 

 


powered by centersite dot net
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Many Parents Would Switch Doctors Over Vaccination Policy, Poll FindsAs School Starts, Pack That Lunch With Nutritional Goodies5 Health Tips to Promote Back-to-School SuccessPot Poisonings Among Kids, Teens Double After Medical Marijuana Law PassedFor Kids Born With HIV, Taking Needed Meds Gets Harder With Age: StudyBuilding a Better BackpackKids Getting Too Many Opioids After TonsillectomyExplaining, Easing the Horror of Mass Shootings for Your KidsFor Kids With Asthma, Allergies, New School Year Can Bring Flare-UpsAnother Video Game Risk to Watch Out ForOlder Parents May Have Better Behaved KidsAre Too Many Kids Prescribed Antihistamines?Childhood Cancer Steals Over 11 Million Years of Healthy Life: StudyFamily Home, Football Field Most Dangerous Spots for Kids' Head InjuriesMost Airplanes Not Equipped With First Aid for KidsPlastics Chemicals Meant to Replace BPA May Not Be Any Safer for KidsWhat Happens to the Children When Parents Fight?Health Tip: Giving Medicine Safely to ChildrenHow to Make Your Child's Hospital Stay Safer, Less StressfulObesity May Boost Odds for MS in KidsHealth Tip: Diarrhea in KidsOpioid Epidemic Doubled Number of U.S. Kids Sent to Foster CareSwimming Lessons a Must for EveryoneHow to Help When Your Child Weighs Too MuchHave Kids, Buy More Produce?Zika's Damage Continues in Children Infected Before BirthCDC Warns of Start to 'Season' for Mysterious Paralyzing Illness in KidsParent Who Listens Can Help Kids Thrive Despite TraumaHealth Tip: Ear Piercing For KidsReacting Against a 'Too Clean' World, Some Parents Go Too Far the Other WaySurvey Urges Grandparents to Lock Down Their Meds When Kids VisitCalifornia Took on Anti-Vaxxers, and WonHow Does Sunshine During Pregnancy Affect Learning?Surgery Helps Babies Missing a Heart Chamber Survive, But Problems LingerAbuse, Injury More Likely When Child is With Male Caregiver: StudyHow to Foster Your Child's ImaginationLow Vitamin D at Birth Linked to Kids' High Blood Pressure RiskHow Do Kids Learn To Turn Off Troublesome Tics?Meet 'Huggable,' the Robot Bear Who's Helping Hospitalized KidsWill Video Games Make Your Kid Obese? Maybe NotChildhood Brain Tumor Survivors Face More StrugglesFDA Expands Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Approval to Children Ages 6 to 12New Drug Combats Leading Cause of DwarfismHow Do Birth Defects Affect Childhood Cancer Risk?FDA Approves Victoza Injection for Children 10 Years and OlderHealth Tip: Preparing Your Child For Sleepaway CampTips for Keeping Your Child Healthy at CampA Simple Way to Help Prevent Child ObesityType 1 Diabetes Might Affect Young Kids' Brain DevelopmentHow to Put Limits on Your Family's Screen Time
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting

Cholesterol Levels Improving Among U.S. Kids

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 21st 2019

new article illustration

TUESDAY, May 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite an epidemic of childhood obesity, the cholesterol levels of American kids have been improving over the past 20 years, a new study shows.

Researchers found that since 1999, levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol among U.S. children and teens have declined, while levels of "good" HDL cholesterol have risen.

That's the good news, researchers report in the May 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The bad news: Only about half of kids had "ideal" cholesterol levels.

Meanwhile, one-quarter of teenagers and about 15% of children had unhealthy levels.

Why do cholesterol levels in kids matter? Research has shown that unhealthy levels in childhood might have consequences later in life, according to Dr. Amanda Perak, lead researcher on the study.

"In adulthood, high LDL cholesterol is a key driver of atherosclerosis," said Perak, a pediatric cardiologist at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. "But it's been shown that the atherosclerosis process can begin in childhood."

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of "plaques" in the arteries. Those deposits -- made up of cholesterol, calcium and other substances -- cause the arteries to narrow and harden, eventually impeding blood flow. If a plaque ruptures, it may block an artery and cause a heart attack or stroke.

Perak said it's encouraging that kids' cholesterol levels are improving, but the reasons are unclear.

On one hand, the positive trend is surprising because childhood obesity has risen since 1999, and obesity is one factor that can raise cholesterol levels.

Perak speculated that some changes in diet -- such as the removal of trans fats from many processed foods -- might have played a role. (Trans fats increase LDL and lower HDL cholesterol.)

Dr. Luis Gonzalez-Mendoza is director of endocrinology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami. He also suspects diet factors underlie the improvements.

"My guess is it's related to nutrition labeling on foods. More people are reading labels and being conscious of what they're putting into their bodies," said Gonzalez-Mendoza, who was not involved in the study.

Whatever the reasons, he added, the findings show that "something positive is going on."

The results are based on data from an ongoing U.S. government health study, for the years 1999 through 2016. It involved more than 26,000 6- to 19-year-olds.

On average, Perak's team found, kids' total cholesterol levels declined by 9 points between 1999 and 2016 -- from 164 mg/dL, to 155 mg/dL. (Levels above 200 are considered high; anything below 170 is normal.)

Meanwhile, average levels of good cholesterol rose a few points, to 55 mg/dL -- with HDL levels above 45 mg/dL considered normal. And among teenagers, average LDL dipped from 92 mg/dL, to 86 mg/dL. An LDL under 110 is considered normal. (There were no LDL measurements for younger kids.)

Despite the improvements, only 51% of kids had all of their cholesterol numbers in the normal range, the study found. Perak said that's a concern, given how young they are.

"We want to maintain ideal health for as long as possible," she noted.

Why do some kids develop high cholesterol?

In most cases, Perak said, it's the usual culprits: poor diet, lack of exercise and unhealthy weight. A small number of kids may have an underlying medical condition, such as kidney disease or an underactive thyroid gland, she added.

Since lifestyle factors are usually the cause, treatment centers on diet, exercise and weight loss, too, according to Gonzalez-Mendoza. He said a healthy diet focused on whole foods is key, rather than any special "cholesterol" diet.

Perak agreed. "When it comes to diet," she said, "focus on 'real' foods -- fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meat."

That, she noted, is the way to not only treat unhealthy cholesterol, but also to prevent it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends cholesterol screening for all kids between the ages of 9 and 11.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on kids' cholesterol levels.