Sangita Rana’s son Arnav, is a busy 9 year old kid who can spend hours playing outside. That’s why it came as a shock to her, when doctors told her Arnav’s cholesterol levels were so high he needed medication.
“I didn’t see that coming at all I knew my husband had cholesterol but as a mother I didn’t expect that,” Rana said.
Sangita says for years, they’ve made a conscious effort to eat healthy and stay active because Arnav’s father also has high cholesterol.
He had his first heart attack when he was 33.
“Looking at his BMI, it was never a concern for him he didn’t get it checked,” Rana said. “He got it checked when his mom had a heart attack, when he was 28 and a few years later, he had a heart attack.”
She says they mentioned their family history of high cholesterol to Arnav’s pediatrician. Who says genetics is the main reason children as young as Arnav have high cholesterol.
Doctors can screen kids as young as five, but say parent participation is key.
“Be aware of your genetics, if there is anything running in your family, let your doctor know about that,” Rana.
And now the disease hiding in his body is no longer a secret.
As he continues on the path of good food and staying active, key to heart health at any age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children between 9 and 11 years old are screened for high blood cholesterol levels due to the growing epidemic of obesity in children.
In addition, the AAP recommends cholesterol testing for the following groups of children:
Those whose parents or grandparents have had heart attacks or strokes.
And those whose parents or grandparents have total blood cholesterol levels of 240 higher.