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Children Should Get Cholesterol Tests, Panel Says

Thomas Barwick/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- All children should be screened for cholesterol levels between ages nine and 11, and again between ages 17 and 21, even those who are not at an increased risk of high cholesterol and heart disease, according to new guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Previously, experts recommended that only certain children be screened for cholesterol early in life, such as those children with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease or children who have diabetes or are obese. But a panel of experts from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute now recommends that all children be screened to help pediatricians detect elevated cholesterol in their young patients, with the goal of preventing heart disease later in life.

The guidelines will be presented Sunday at a meeting of the American Heart Association and are published online Friday in the journal Pediatrics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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