Keeping Your Child’s Heart Healthy: Cholesterol Screening and Heart Healthy Diet Guidelines
What do I need to know about cholesterol?
- It is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the bloodstream and all the cells in the body.
- Your child can get cholesterol in two ways:
- The liver makes it.
- Eating foods high in cholesterol, saturated fat or trans fats.
- Too much cholesterol can increase your child’s risk of heart disease.
- Your child is at even greater risk of heart disease if he has high LDL (bad cholesterol) (more than 100 mg/dl).
- All people with diabetes are at risk for high cholesterol.
What is the screening test for high cholesterol?
- A blood test, called a lipid profile.
- Your child should not eat anything for 12 hours before the blood test.
- This test includes total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and triglyceride level.
- The LDL level is the most important type of cholesterol.
What are healthy lipid profile test results?
- Total Cholesterol: Less than 170 mg/dL
- LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol): Less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL Cholesterol (good cholesterol): Greater than 40 mg/dL
- Triglyceride: Less than 150 mg/dL
What should I do if my child has high LDL cholesterol?
- Meet with one of our Diabetes Center nutritionists to discuss heart healthy eating.
- Repeat cholesterol level 3-6 months after eating a heart healthy diet.
For more information about cholesterol and for tips on staying healthy, please review these patient-family handouts:
If you have any questions, please call us at 215-590-3174.
Reviewed by: CHOP Diabetes Center for Children
Date: April 2012