Just like adults, children can have high levels of cholesterol, upping the risk for heart problems down the road. Too much cholesterol leads to the buildup of plaque which can narrow the arteries and block blood flow to the heart. Having a parent with a history of heart disease and/or high cholesterol as well as obesity are major risk factors in kids. But one in 400 kids will have a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, when high cholesterol occurs regardless of diet or weight. “Left untreated, it can greatly increase the risk of heart disease in young adults,” adds Dr. Morrison.
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