How’s your child’s cholesterol level? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has revised their guidelines, according to a release in the journal Pediatrics. Among other things, doctors in the U.S. are to now test children for high cholesterol levels, depression and HIV.
Previously, the leading group of pediatricians only recommended doctors to screen children with an increased risk of high cholesterol, depression or diabetes.
“But research has shown that targeted screening misses too many children with abnormal cholesterol. And it's unnecessarily complicated,” Health Day noted Dr. Geoffrey Simon, chair of the academy's Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine for saying.
“Instead, we're simplifying things by saying all kids should be screened around age 9 or 10,” Simon said.
Kids ages 9 to 10 will be screened for high cholesterol. Kids ages 11 to 21 will have annual screenings for depression. And HIV will be tested for teenagers aged 16 to 18.
Prescribing medication will be the last on the list for the treatment of kids found positive for high cholesterol and depression. Diet and exercise, instead, will be recommended for the prior, “In some cases,” Simon said, “we need to take a deeper dive and have the family work with a nutritionist.” And for the latter, he said “We're trying to get to kids before they reach the point where they might need medication.”
In the Philippines, Republic Act 9288 or the Newborn Screening Act of 2004 provides a screening of 28 disorders to newborn children. The primary six of the 28 are for: congenital hypothyroidism (CH), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), phenylketonuria (PKU), glucose-6- phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, galactosemia (GAL) and maple syrup urine disease (MSUD).
The Department of Health (DOH) regularly conducts health programs, including screenings, as well in schools across the nation. For example, during August Sight Saving Month, the DOH in coordination with the Department of Education conducted vision screenings.
Sources: Dec. 7, 2015. "Screen All Kids for Cholesterol, Depression and HIV, Pediatricians' Group Says". healthday.com Dec. 7, 2015. "Pediatricians release updated guidelines for children's medical screening". today.com