Study: Choles­terol test for 1-year-olds could help

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

What if a blood test could re­veal that your child is at high risk for early heart dis­ease years in the fu­ture, giv­ing you a chance to pre­vent it now? A big study in Eng­land did that — screen­ing thou­sands of ba­bies for in­her­ited risk — and found it was twice as com­mon as has been thought.

The study also re­vealed par­ents who had the con­di­tion but didn’t know it, and had passed it on to their chil­dren. Ninety per­cent of them started tak­ing pre­ven­tive medicines af­ter find­ing out.

Re­searchers say the two-gen­er­a­tion ben­e­fits may per­suade more par­ents to agree to choles­terol test­ing for their kids. An ex­pert panel in the United States rec­om­mends this test be­tween the ages of 9 and 11, but many aren’t tested now un­less they are obese or have other heart risk fac­tors. For ev­ery 1,000 peo­ple screened in the study, four chil­dren and four par­ents were iden­ti­fied as be­ing at risk for early heart dis­ease.

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