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Children's Health

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Cholesterol in Children and Teens - Topic Overview

A child may have a higher chance of having high cholesterol if he or she:

Cholesterol tests for children and teens

Your child's doctor may suggest a cholesterol test based on your child's age, family history, or a physical exam. A cholesterol test can help a doctor find out early if your child has a cholesterol level that could affect his or her health.

You can ask your child's doctor if your child should have a cholesterol test. There are different recommendations that doctors may follow.1, 2

Cholesterol levels for children and teens

For children and teens:2

Total cholesterolLDL (bad) cholesterol

Less than 170 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)

Less than 110 mg/dL

Borderline high




200 or above

130 or above

The goal numbers for HDL (good) cholesterol and triglycerides can depend on your child's age and gender. But in general:

  • HDL (good) cholesterol should be higher than 40 mg/dL.
  • Triglyceride levels should be below 130 mg/dL.

Treatment for high cholesterol

Treatment for high cholesterol typically includes changes in diet and increased physical activity. Work with your doctor or a dietitian to make diet changes so that your child can get proper nutrition while trying to lower cholesterol.

Less commonly, medicines, such as a statin, may be used to help lower cholesterol levels.

If you have concerns about your child's cholesterol, talk with your doctor.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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