Skip to Content
Home > Wellness Resources > Health Library > Cholesterol in Children and Teens
A child may have a higher chance of having high cholesterol if he or she:
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.footnote 1, footnote 2, footnote 3
For children and teens:footnote 2
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:
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.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2007). Screening for lipid disorders in children. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspschlip.htm.
Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents (2011). Expert panel on integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: Summary report. Pediatrics, 128(Suppl 5): S213–S256.
Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule Working Group (2016). 2016 recommendations for preventive pediatric health care. Pediatrics, 137(1). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-3908. Accessed December 7, 2015.
Other Works Consulted
McCrindle BW, et al. (2007). Drug therapy of high-risk lipid abnormalities in children and adolescents. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, and Obesity in Youth Committee, Council of Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, with the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing. Circulation, 115(14): 1948–1967.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofJune 30, 2016
Current as of:
June 30, 2016
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.