New guidelines suggest a 'lifespan approach' to battle high cholesterol


Doctors should look beyond typical risk factors for high cholesterol, creating detailed personal plans for individuals to examine risks early, suggest new guidelines published Saturday.

The guidelines, available in the journal Circulation, say health factors such as family history should be taken into account when examining a person's risk for high cholesterol.

The guidelines for treating high cholesterol, which affects nearly one in three American adults, were pulled together by experts from the American Heart Association and 11 other health organizations.

Experts suggest a "lifespan approach" to treating cholesterol, said Dr. Sarah D. de Ferranti, chief of outpatient cardiology and director of preventive cardiology at Harvard Medical School's Boston Children's Hospital, in a statement.

The guidelines suggest doctors consider screening for kids as young as two years old with a family history of early heart disease and high cholesterol.