26 Jul USPSTF: Lipid Screening Recommendation Statement for Children and Adolescents
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Li Li, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H
Walter M. Seward Professor
Chair of Family Medicine
Director of population health
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Editor-in-chief of The BMJ Family Medicine
Dr. Li joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in January 2021
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The Task Force reviewed the latest available evidence to evaluate whether screening all children and adolescents who are 20 years old or younger for high cholesterol improves their heart health into adulthood.
At this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether or not screening all kids is beneficial, so we are calling for additional research on the effectiveness of screening and treatment of high cholesterol in kids and teens.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: It is important to know that this recommendation does not apply to kids and teens who have symptoms related to high cholesterol or a known cholesterol disorder. Without the evidence the Task Force needs to make a recommendation, healthcare professionals should use their judgment when deciding whether and when to measure the cholesterol levels of their young patients. Caregivers should also be sure to share any concerns related to the cholesterol or heart health of their kids.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a results of this study?
Response: We’re looking for future research on this topic in several areas. We need long-term data that shows if screening kids and teens works to prevent premature heart-related events or death in adulthood. Research should also focus on how well screening tests identify kids who have cholesterol disorders. We need more evidence to know when the best age to start treatment of high cholesterol for this age group is, once they are diagnosed with a cholesterol disorder. Finally, more information is needed on any long-term harms related to screening and treatment of kids who have cholesterol disorders.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Due to the lack of evidence on whether screening is beneficial, it is important to focus on what we do know. There are several proven ways to maintain and improve heart health, including eating a healthy diet and getting exercise. The Task Force also has a separate recommendation on screening for obesity in kids 6 years and older. Evidence shows that screening kids at this time and offering them behavioral interventions to promote healthy habits can help them lead longer, healthier lives.
Citations:US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Lipid Disorders in Children and Adolescents: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2023;330(3):253–260. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.11330
Guirguis-Blake JM, Evans CV, Coppola EL, Redmond N, Perdue LA. Screening for Lipid Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2023;330(3):261–274. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.8867
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Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by Marie Benz