Preventive Cardiology Clinic

Preventive Cardiology Clinic

Care to reduce children’s risk of heart disease

We help children manage high cholesterol and other risk factors to prevent heart disease and serious events such as heart attacks and stroke.

Certain health factors, such as abnormal cholesterol levels, can increase a child’s risk of future heart disease. At Children’s Health℠, the Preventive Cardiology Clinic identifies and treats children who have high cholesterol and other risk factors. We work closely with you and your family to create a personalized treatment plan that supports heart health for the whole family.

Our team has years of experience caring for children with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. We see about 2,000 children every year, helping them avoid heart disease, stay healthy and keep doing the activities they enjoy.

Cholesterol screening to assess pediatric heart disease risk

High cholesterol can occur in children. But it may go unnoticed because symptoms don’t always appear in its early stages. Early screening is important to identify children who have high cholesterol so they can start treatment right away.

We recommend cholesterol screening for your child by age 8. If your family has a history of high cholesterol or early heart attacks, we recommend screening even earlier, by age 2.

Cholesterol screening is a simple blood test that measures the levels of various types of cholesterol, called lipids. Your child’s test results help us determine the next steps in their care, such as whether they need additional tests or treatments.

Evaluating and diagnosing high cholesterol in children

Our team begins by asking you about your family’s medical history, and we do a physical exam. We either review your child’s previous cholesterol test results or do a new blood test, if the previous test was more than three months ago.

In most cases, we can diagnose high cholesterol with the family history and blood test results. If your child needs further testing, it may include:

Personalized care with a focus on family education

Our team spends time with you and your family to help you understand high cholesterol and how you can manage it. By involving the entire family, we create a comprehensive treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs, preferences and goals.

We work closely with you, your child and other family members to decide on ways to improve eating and exercise habits. With everyone on board, lifestyle changes become easier for your child and support better heart health for the whole family.

If medications are part of your child’s treatment, we explain how they work and when to give them. By about age 14, your child can begin managing their medications.

Care and treatment to prevent heart disease

Using the test results and our evaluation, we decide on the right treatment options for your child. We work closely with you to develop a plan that your family can sustain. This starts with teaching healthy lifestyle habits that can make your child healthier today and in the future.

From there, we tailor the treatment plan to your child’s needs. Treatment plans can include:

  • Nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian, to develop healthy eating plans
  • Recommendations for physical activity and exercise
  • Medications to treat cholesterol and related conditions, such as high blood pressure
  • Long-term health monitoring to adjust the treatment plan as your child changes