Capital Pediatric Cardiology

High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol services offered throughout Central California

If you think high cholesterol is an adult disease, you’ll be shocked to learn that one in five adolescents has cholesterol exceeding the healthy limits. The board-certified physicians at Capital Pediatric Cardiology specialize in preventing and treating high cholesterol. They screen for high cholesterol and recommend lifestyle changes that promote your child’s long-term health at their 10 offices in Sacramento, Roseville, Modesto, Placerville, Cameron Park, Stockton, Chico, Anderson, and Reading, California. Call the nearest office or requests an appointment online today.

Can children and teens have high cholesterol?

Absolutely. High cholesterol is not just an adult disease. Children and teens also develop high cholesterol, putting them at risk of developing heart disease earlier in life.

Children may develop high cholesterol because of the following:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Genetic factors (familial hypercholesterolemia)

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children have their cholesterol levels checked between the ages of nine and 11 and again between 17 and 19 years. 

However, your child should be tested earlier and have more frequent screenings if they’re overweight, have a family history of heart disease, or have family members with atherosclerosis or a heart attack history.

Why is high cholesterol dangerous?

Children with cholesterol in their bloodstream have a significantly higher chance that the cholesterol will stick to artery walls.

After cholesterol grabs hold, it creates plaque that accumulates more fats, gradually enlarges, hardens, and narrows the artery, a condition called atherosclerosis. This condition restricts blood flow and deprives tissues of the oxygen they need to function.

When atherosclerosis reaches an advanced stage, blood flow is substantially reduced or stopped. That’s when life-threatening events like heart attacks and strokes occur.

How is high cholesterol treated?

Your Capital Pediatric Cardiology provider runs a blood test to identify your child’s cholesterol level. If their cholesterol is high, they need a treatment plan that includes:

Lifestyle modifications

Lowering cholesterol begins with making dietary changes, exercising more, and losing weight if needed. However, making dietary changes doesn’t mean cutting out all fat. Children aged two and younger need a certain amount of healthy fats to support their growth and development.


Most children and teens can successfully lower their cholesterol with lifestyle modifications. But if their levels don’t return to the healthy range, children eight and older can take medications that lower cholesterol.

Care for underlying conditions

Your Capital Pediatric Cardiology provider also diagnoses and treats conditions contributing to high cholesterol. High blood pressure and diabetes dramatically increase your child’s risk by damaging artery walls. The damage creates rough spots that can easily snag cholesterol. 

If you’re concerned about your child’s cholesterol or they’re already diagnosed with high cholesterol and need ongoing care, call Capital Pediatric Cardiology or request an appointment online today.