High CholesterolA new study warns that doctors should be screening children as young as 9 for things that we normally associate with adults.
As a matter of fact, a leading group of US pediatricians has now altered guidelines to say that older children should be screened for cholesterol, depression, and even HIV. Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics also advises that screenings should be for all children and not just those of a certain age or who live within a certain risk population.

“We do see high cholesterol in kids as young as 9 or 10,” explains Nicklaus Children’s Hospital pediatrician Dr. Amanda Porro, of Miami. “It’s not just adults anymore.”

The study examines that, when looking backward, it can be possible to detect shifts in the body, particularly in relation to cholesterol. Of course, if it is determined that a child might be at higher risk for high cholesterol, interventions may be necessary.

This could include a change in diet or lifestyle or both, and perhaps medication in more extreme cases.

Frighteningly, American Academy of Pediatrics chair of the Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, Dr. Geoffrey Simon also comments, “The incidence of depression starts to pick up in middle school and high school.” Suicide, unfortunately, is one of the leading causes of adolescent death.

Furthermore, the studies show that nearly 11 percent of all 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States experienced at least one incident of major depression in 2013, according to statistics from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. This equates to roughly 2.6 million kids.

But, Simon says, “If we catch depression symptoms early, we can intervene,” adding too, “We’re trying to get to kids before they reach the point where they might need medication.”