Lipid Biomarkers: Identifying Dyslipidemia in Children
In the past decade, cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors have been increasingly recognized in children. More children are overweight, and obesity in the pediatric population is now considered a major U.S. health problem. Increased obesity rates are attributed to an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Children’s diets today include many foods with a high number of calories and low nutrient value, and children tend to be less physically active. Because we now know that the atherosclerotic process begins in youth and culminates with the development of vascular plaques in the third and fourth decades of life, these trends raise major concerns about the future health of overweight children. To identify cardiovascular risk factors in children, pediatricians are increasingly using lab measurements of lipid biomarkers to identify dyslipidemia. Characterized by the elevation of total cholesterol, LDL-C and/or triglycerides or low levels of HDL-C, dyslipidemia contributes to the development of atherosclerosis.