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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cholesterol screening in childhood: results of a 9-year follow-up study in Swiss and Italian children in Switzerland.

Mass screening for blood cholesterol as part of routine preventive health care of children continues to be discussed in several countries. Results of longitudinal studies underline the importance of the predictive value of cholesterol levels assessed during childhood. Some countries have changed their recommendations during the past years to blood cholesterol screening for obese children only or for children of high risk families. In the Kindergarten-study Basel, a follow-up study on somatic, psychic and social development of Swiss and immigrant schoolchildren, cardiovascular risk factors were assessed at the ages of 5, 10 and 14 years. The age-specific levels of total and LDL-cholesterol found in our study were slightly higher and HDL-cholesterol lower than, for example, those found in the Bogalusa Heart Study. For total cholesterol no significant tracking correlations over the 5 and 9 year periods were found. Tracking of LDL- and HDL-cholesterol differed between nationalities and sexes. The total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol index tracked slightly better. Italian girls showed the best 9-year tracking for HDL-cholesterol (r = 0.56). The differences between this and other studies can only partially be explained by different sampling and laboratory methods. Individual changes in cholesterol levels between the ages of 5 and 14 were marked. Sexual maturation was found to be of minor influence. Body mass index was the most consistent risk factor in our population. Changes of sex or growth hormone levels during puberty, but also changes of nutritional habits or physical activity might influence the individual cholesterol levels. Before recommendations on mass screening of cholesterol in children are made, the different longitudinal patterns of changes in cholesterol levels, and subpopulation-specific changes of nutritional habits and physical activity, should be discussed. The results of the Kindergarten study Basel suggest that attention should be paid to screening for obesity and to health education regarding nutrition and physical activity.[1]


  1. Cholesterol screening in childhood: results of a 9-year follow-up study in Swiss and Italian children in Switzerland. Mohler, B., Ackermann-Liebrich, U., Steffen, T., Staehelin, H.B. Sozial- und Präventivmedizin. (1996) [Pubmed]
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