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Should kids as young as 8 be on cholesterol-lowering drugs?

By July 16, 2008 - 11:43pm
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I was really shocked to read about how young kids are being put on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, based on new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The scary thing to me is how these drugs have barely been tested in kids. So far, five different statin drugs have been approved for use in children, and yet these kinds of drugs have only been tested for a period of two years in a small group of children who had a genetic defect that caused high cholesterol. There's absolutely no long-term data.

Plus, what seems really scary to me is the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics has received major funding, like hundreds of thousands of dollars, from several of the statin drug manufacturers.

So what do you think? Obviously, we have an obesity problem among our youth, and apparently a cholesterol issue as well. Should these cholesterol-lowering drugs that are given so commonly to adults be given as commonly to kids??

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I have to agree...we have hit new low with the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee's announcement that infants as young as two years old need to be screened for high cholesterol, and children as young as eight years old should be put on prescription statin drugs. This absurd advice is being offered even though statin drugs have never been tested on young children. Even so, the FDA has granted approval of statins in children as young as 8.

If these children do indeed have elevated cholesterol, we need to look at the underlying issue...nutrition and diet in America. The advice to "drug" them in no way corrects the problem, not to mention will most likely cause more. The list of side effects for statin drugs cautions me from prescribing them to an adult much less a child:

Memory Loss/ Mental Confustion
Muscle Breakdown /rhabdomyolysis
Irritability / hostility
Homicidal impulses
Kidney failure
Tingling or cramping in the legs
Problems sleeping
Impaired muscle formation
Erectile dysfunction
Hormone imbalance
Temperature regulation problems
Nerve damage /neuropathy
Liver damage and abnormalities
Destruction of CoQ10, a vital nutrient for health

So why the recommendation of statins for children...why else... selling more pharmaceuticals equals more money$$$$ and there is your definition of MARKET EXPANSION.


July 17, 2008 - 3:53pm

I'm with you Kristin. It's a little scary. I'm worried about compensating for behavior with medication. It seems that like adults, children will need to cut back on the foods which are driving up their cholesterol and amp up on the physical activity before turning to medications.

You can find more feedback on this topic here.

July 17, 2008 - 8:17am
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