In a separate draft recommendation, the USPSTF looked at whether screening for high cholesterol in children and adolescents 20 years of age and younger would lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular events in adulthood. At this time, there is not enough evidence to determine the benefits and harms of screening in this age group; this is a Grade I recommendation and remains unchanged from the 2007 statement.

“There is currently not enough research to determine whether screening all average-risk children and adolescents without symptoms leads to better cardiovascular health in adulthood. In addition, the potential harms of long-term use of cholesterol-lowering medication by children and adolescents are not yet understood,“ said Task Force Vice-Chair David C. Grossman, MD, MPH.

The Task Force recognizes that more research needs to be done to assess the harms and benefits of screening for lipid disorders in children and adolescents. In the meantime, maintaining normal weight with a healthy diet and physical activity should be prescribed for this age group.

For more information visit USPSTF.org.