Kansas City,
15:08 PM

Report Finds One in Five Kids Has Cholesterol Problem

Doctors Urge Screening

The Tucker brothers, Hunter and Peyton, try to stay active whether it's at Liberty High School or in the great outdoors. It's one way they're fighting a silent enemy.

"My dad's side has a long history of it and stuff," said Peyton.

Hunter added, "It's tough taking it serious all the time because there's a lot of food that you want to eat."

Both boys have high cholesterol that puts them at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes earlier in life.

Heredity is one huge factor. But doctors say the obesity epidemic is also behind the new numbers showing one in five kids has a cholesterol problem.

They say increased screening is a factor, too. The nation's pediatricians have new screening recommendations.

"Every child should be screened at 9 to 11 years of age and again from 17 to 21 years of age regardless of risk factors," said Dr. Jonathan Wagner of Children's Mercy Hospital.

Dr. Wagner says when the numbers are high, exercise and changes in eating habits are the first treatments. But he says at least 200,000 kids in America have levels so high they need statin medicines. The effects of statin use over many decades aren't known yet, so Children's Mercy is doing research.

"To get them that just-right dose medication tailored to the individual patient," said Dr. Wagner.

See the full story via Fox 4.