Usefulness of parental serum total cholesterol levels in identifying children with hypercholesterolemia

Irwin Benuck, Samuel S. Gidding*, Mark Donovan, Edward S. Traisman, Howard S. Traisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


It was hypothesized that healthy children with high cholesterol levels may have parents who exceed acceptable cholesterol levels established by the National Cholesterol Education Program. One hundred sixty families (320 parents, 263 children aged 3 to 10 years) were evaluated for total cholesterol and other risk factors. Before the study, almost half of the parents had not had serum total cholesterol measured. The odds ratio for a child having a total cholesterol ≥5.17 mmol/liter (200 mg/dl) was 13.6:1 (confidence interval 5.7 to 32.5) for a child with at least 1 parent having cholesterol ≥6.20 mmol/liter (240 mg/dl) versus a child whose parents had low total cholesterol. Testing only children who had at least 1 parent with a total cholesterol ≥5.17 mmol/liter (200 mg/dl) had a sensitivity of 98% for detecting children's total cholesterol ≥5.17 mmol/liter. It is concluded that parental total cholesterol is useful in identifying children with high total cholesterol levels. Pediatricians may identify a large number of parents with hypercholesterolemia not previously recognized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-717
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 15 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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