American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Heads Up: August 14, 2008

Lipid Screening and Cardiovascular Health in Childhood

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new cholesterol screening and treatment recommendations for children. The policy statement appears in the July 2008 issue of Pediatrics. It recommends screening children and adolescents with a family history of high cholesterol or CVD,  as well as all patients whose family history is unknown or who have other factors for CVD, including obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥95th percentile), hypertension (blood pressure ≥95th percentile), cigarette smoking, or diabetes.

25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men: A Prospective Study

Vitamin D deficiency has been related to an increasing number of conditions and to total mortality. Results of a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggest that low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of heart attack. According to the study, men who had vitamin D levels of 15 ng/mL or less in their blood samples—an indication of vitamin D deficiency—had more than  twice the risk for heart attack as those whose vitamin D levels were at least 30 ng/mL.

Diagnostic Value of Free Prostate-Specific Antigen among Men with a Prostate-Specific Antigen Level of <3.0 μg per Liter


Results of a new study suggest that in men with low serum levels of total PSA, an accompanying low level percentage of free PSA (%fPSA) strongly predicts a later diagnosis of prostate cancer. A total of 17,680 men from the European Randomized Trial for Screening of Prostate Cancer had total PSA levels of <3μg/L. During a median follow-up time of 5.8 years, 327 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 25% had a Gleason score of 7 or higher. Men with a %fPSA in the lowest quartile—<14.2%—had an almost 7-fold increased risk of being diagnosed with the disease, compared with men who had a %fPSA level in the highest quartile, >23.7%.