Cholesterol Check-up?

Updated on September 10, 2012
A.P. asks from Fairfield, CT
9 answers

For my son's 5-year old well visit, the doctor does a routine blood test to check cholesterol. I wonder if this is really necessary for a 5-year old healthy boy who will scream and cry during the same blood test given to you or I. Am I crazy to wait until he's older?

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So What Happened?

I spoke with the doctor and she said that it's just treated with diet at this age, so I decided to wait a year or two, but to be more conscious about the foods I'm feeding him. Thanks for all of your great advice and wisdom.

More Answers


answers from Norfolk on

I refuse to have my son tested. Cholesterol is necessary for growing and the functioning of your body. Your liver produces most of it (as oppose to what is derived from your diet). I am not convinced the powers that be actually know what is a good amount versus what is an elevated amount. The numbers they are pushing right now suggests the whole human species needs to take an outlandishly expensive drug to remain healthy (and I had a very bad joint / memory reaction after taking Zocor for awhile - I stopped taking it and refuse to take a statin ever again. My mother had a similar reaction). If everyone's numbers are so high, does that not suggest that that particular level is what is normal? I respect the medical community a lot, and I trust their judgment most of the time, but this particular recommendation seems very very profit driven and I am not buying it. I'm willing to bet 50 cents that 50 years down the line, studies will reveal artificially lowering cholesterol is a very bad idea.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

It seems early, but the statistics are really alarming: 1/3 kids born today will develop Type 2 Diabetes. This generation is the first that is expected NOT to live longer than their parents. Especially if your famiy has history of high cholesterol/Cardiac events, this may be a new guideline to help prevent damage before it starts.

Here's a statement from, a parenting site from the American Academy of Pediatrics (your pediatrician should be following their guidelines):
"At present, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend rou­tine cholesterol screening for all children. It does advise screening those chil­dren whose parents have a history of high cholesterol levels or early heart attacks (prior to age fifty)."
The full commentary on their opinion is at this link:

Merck/Schering-Plough used to have a great commercial on TV that showed a food item and a family member dressed similarly to show that cholesterol issues are both food-related and family-derived.

I don't think checking the cholesterol is as much of a concern as what they recommend for treatment should the levels be elevated. As a parent, I'd start doing a lot of research about the products available to understand risk/benefit, side effects, etc.

I hope you don't find you need to invest your time in all that research for a 5 year-old. My guess is that if there are elevated levels, the main intervention at this time would be dietary.

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from New York on

Its not a bad idea to become more aware of the cholesterol issue in our growing children - which is primarily due to lack of proper exercise and physical play as well as very poor diets high in fats and simple carbohydrates, sugary & processed foods etc...Instead I am addressing my son's growth & development through being consciously aware of his food & diet & proper exercise.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Since the Doctor is only going to prescribe a healthy diet if it is high, why not just skip the test and get his recommendations for a healthy diet and start to follow it? It's the way we should be eating all the time anyway. We evolved as a species hunting and gathering and probably working on our feet from dawn to dusk which would suggest that high cholesterol may not be the way it should be, but the result of lifestyle changes in humans. And you can cure some diabetes by following the rule "Eat less, move more".

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I thought the same thing until my 2 year olds cholesterol came back high! We had it rechecked just a few weeks later and it was lower so we are just real careful with our diets now, but it was a wake up call.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am also find such suggestion. please help us.

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answers from Dallas on

i thought the same thing when my kids had done the test but iam glad i did my is healthy ,he is never sick and the cholesterol come back high and he was in a diet and we low his cholesterol .



answers from New York on

Hi A.,
I am not sure of the age that the AAP recommends beginning to check cholesterol, but children (even healthy children who are not overweight) can have high cholesterol. Everyone has a cholesterol level, but even children can exceed the normal, healthy level. I wouldn't avoid health screening simply because you have a child who makes a big deal over a blood draw.

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