Cholesterol in Children and Teens - Topic Overview
A child may have a higher chance of having high cholesterol if he or she:
- Is overweight.
- Does not exercise much.
- Does not eat healthy foods.
- Has a family history of high cholesterol.
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 cholesterol||LDL (bad) cholesterol|
Less than 170 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
Less than 110 mg/dL
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.
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.
you have concerns about your child's cholesterol, talk with your doctor.