Report: Adults Who Take Statins Tend to Raise Kids Who Take Statins
Eating and exercise habits tend to pass from parents to children. So, it appears, do the resulting medical problems. According to Reuters some doctors are prescribing cholesterol controlling statins to children. Debra Sherman reports:
Cholesterol is making inroads in kindergartens on piles of pizza and burgers, and children as young as 10 are taking statin drugs along with their vitamins to stay healthy.
Poor diets and lack of exercise are the same factors behind rising childhood obesity, and can lead to health problems later in life, notably heart disease, doctors said.
"Genetics play a role, but this is more a lifestyle problem," said Dr. Steven Nissen, interim chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic.
Bad cholesterol builds up plaque on artery walls that narrows arteries and blocks blood flow to the heart. High cholesterol also is linked to other health problems, such as strokes.
Nissen said he occasionally prescribes hugely popular cholesterol-lowering statins -- by far the world's biggest selling class of drugs -- to children when changes in diet and exercise fail to do the job.
"I've treated children as young as 10 with them. I'd have to have a compelling reason to do that. Safety data is limited," he added.