Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obesity Is A Poor Gauge For Detecting High Cholesterol Levels In Children

Date:
August 29, 2009
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
With the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States, there is concern that overweight and obese children need to be screened for chronic medical conditions, including high cholesterol levels. However, body fat is not an effective indicator of high cholesterol in children, according to new research.

With the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States, there is concern that overweight and obese children need to be screened for chronic medical conditions, including high cholesterol levels.

Related Articles


However, body fat is not an effective indicator of high cholesterol in children, according to new University of Michigan research.

Those are the findings of a U-M study led by U-M pediatricians Joyce Lee, M.D., MPH, and Matthew Davis, M.D., MAPP, which will appear in the August 3 edition of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

"We found, actually, that using body mass index to find kids with high cholesterol does not work well. There were many overweight and obese kids who had normal cholesterol, and there were a fair number of healthy-weight kids who had high cholesterol," says Lee, a member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit in the U-M Division of General Pediatrics, and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the U-M Medical School.

The study was conducted after the American Academy of Pediatrics revised its cholesterol screening guidelines in July 2008, advocating a cholesterol check for kids who have increased risk of heart disease. For the most part, that means all children who are overweight or obese, which is about 30% of kids in the U.S.

"Our results indicate that the AAP guidelines for cholesterol screening in kids may need to be revised," says Lee. "Otherwise, we may be missing high cholesterol in some kids and unnecessarily testing others."

The authors performed the study with national data from thousands of children to see whether 'body mass index' (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight, can be used as a reliable way to find kids with high cholesterol levels. They looked at the relationship between BMI and two different cholesterol measures, including total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, i.e. "bad" cholesterol.

For this study, children were classified as overweight if their BMI was between the 85th and 95th percentiles, and defined as obese if their BMI was greater than the 95th percentile for weight based on age and height. Children had abnormal levels if they had a total cholesterol greater than 200 mg/dl or LDL cholesterol level of greater than 130 mg/dl.

This study found that screening all overweight or obese children would identify approximately 50% of children with abnormal cholesterol levels but would also lead to unnecessary testing for up to 30% of children.

Other studies have looked at additional screening strategies for abnormal cholesterol in children on the basis of having a family history of early heart disease or high cholesterol. But as Lee notes, "A positive family history also performs poorly for identifying children with high cholesterol levels. Therefore, it may be more efficient for the AAP to recommend a public health campaign to reduce cholesterol among all children, rather than screening high-risk groups."

In addition to Lee and Davis, co-authors include Achamyeleh Gebremariam, MS, from the University of Michigan, and colleagues from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, including Paula Card-Higginson, BA, ELS, Jennifer L. Shaw, DrPH, MPH, MAP, and Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH.

This work was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Lee was also supported by NIDDK K08DK082386 and the Clinical Sciences Scholars Program at the University of Michigan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Obesity Is A Poor Gauge For Detecting High Cholesterol Levels In Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803172946.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2009, August 29). Obesity Is A Poor Gauge For Detecting High Cholesterol Levels In Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803172946.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Obesity Is A Poor Gauge For Detecting High Cholesterol Levels In Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803172946.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins