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Cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood. It is needed for many body functions, such as making new cells. Cholesterol is made by the body and also comes from food your child eats. High cholesterol means your child has too much of this type of fat in their blood.
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol that builds up inside the blood vessel walls, making them too narrow. This reduces the flow of blood and can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL is the "good" cholesterol that helps clear bad cholesterol from the body.
High cholesterol can be caused by eating food with too much saturated fat or cholesterol in it or by being overweight. It can also run in families.
High cholesterol has no symptoms. You may find out that your child has high cholesterol when your child's doctor does a routine cholesterol test.
You can help prevent high cholesterol by seeing that your child is active and stays at a healthy weight and eats healthy foods.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: April 29, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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