Screening Tests for Children

Print this page
Share this page:
Not everyone in this age group may need screening for every condition listed here. Click on the links above to read more about each condition and to determine if screening may be appropriate for you or your family member. You should discuss screening options with your health care practitioner.

High cholesterol

Population Screening for hypercholesterolaemia in children has been suggested, but is currently not recommended in the UK. Case finding by Family Tracing is an effective strategy for identifying most children with familial hypercholesterolaemia. Screening should be based on:

  • a family history of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia or
  • a family history of premature cardiovascular disease (before 55 years in men, before 60 years in women)

Children should be tested before the age of 10 years but usually not before the age of two years. The age chosen should take into account the onset of coronary artery disease within the family and the wishes of the parents.
BLOOD SAMPLES. Non-fasting capillary or venous samples can be used for screening measurement of total cholesterol. If the concentration is above 5.5mmol/l, which is the 95th centile in childhood, a fasting venous blood sample should be taken for measurement of total and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride. The low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can then be calculated.