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News Tips Friday, March 26, 1999

isrepresentation of what "normal" cholesterol is for a particular age group. The current test uses a fixed number to distinguish among "acceptable" (less than 170 mg/dL), "borderline" (170-199 mg/dL), and "high" (200 mg/dL or over) for all children ages 2-19 years and for both sexes. However, the researchers say using a fixed number is misleading because it is normal for total cholesterol to change with age and differ significantly by gender and race. What is normal for a three-year-old black female may be significantly lower or higher than what is normal for a 12-year-old white male. The scientists call for using age, race and gender-specific percentile values of "normal" cholesterol levels when screening for total cholesterol in children and adolescents. Darwin Labarthe, School of Public Health, University of Texas, Houston, Ph.: 713-500-9416.


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Contact: Carole Bullock
caroleb@heart.org
214-706-1279
American Heart Association
26-Mar-1999


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