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J Pediatr. 1991 Oct;119(4):551-6.

Cholesterol screening in childhood: sixteen-year Beaver County Lipid Study experience.

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1
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

To determine the extent to which cholesterol measured in childhood is predictive of values in adulthood, the investigators conducting the second follow-up of the Beaver County Lipid Study tracked the cholesterol values of 295 adults who had initially participated as children (ages 11 to 14 years) in a countywide school screening program. The follow-up study was conducted 16 years after the initial study, when the participants had reached a mean age of 28 years. The overall correlation (r) between baseline (1972-1973) total cholesterol values and the values found at the present follow-up was 0.44 (p less than 0.0001). Women had a higher correlation (r = 0.51) than men (r = 0.38). In addition, the efficacy of childhood screening for cholesterol levels was assessed by considering currently recommended borderline values (greater than 175 mg/dl (4.6 mmol/L) for children and greater than 200 mg/dl (5.2 mmol/L) for adults) as a "positive" test result. The sensitivity of screening at age 12 years for predicting elevated adult total cholesterol concentrations was 63%, specificity was 67%, and the predictive value of a positive test result was 47%. Comparison of false-positive results (above the borderline cutoff point as a child but not as an adult) and false-negative results (below the borderline cutoff point as a child but above it as an adult) showed that male subjects with false-positive results smoked significantly less than those with false-negative results (p less than 0.05) and had a greater improvement during the preceding 7 years in cholesterol-lowering dietary practices (p less than 0.01). Female subjects with false-positive results smoked significantly less than those with false-negative results (p less than 0.05), were less overweight (p less than 0.05), and had a lower prevalence of oral contraceptive use (p less than 0.01). These results support the potential value of screening for hypercholesterolemia in childhood on a population basis. Although some subjects were misclassified as a result of childhood screening, some of this misclassification was associated with adopting changes that a screening and intervention program would be designed to promote--nonsmoking, weight control, and a prudent diet.

PMID:
1919885
DOI:
10.1016/s0022-3476(05)82403-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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