Expert Care in the Prevention and Screening of Pediatric Cardiovascular Diseases
Led by a multidisciplinary team of highly skilled medical professionals, Loyola Medicine is a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, with specialists trained in caring for our youngest patients.
Heart disease is becoming more and more frequent in children and adolescents, resulting in long-term heart complications in adulthood. Some adults with heart disease lived with lipid disorders as children, predisposing them to heart problems like coronary artery disease. In fact, one of the greatest risk factors for coronary artery disease is disorders of lipid metabolism (dyslipidemias), which include:
- Deficiencies in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)
- Elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)
- Elevated total cholesterol (TC)
- Elevated triglycerides
These disorders can be acquired through poor diet or other behaviors, or they can come from a strong genetic predisposition. Identifying children with lipid disorders is an important step toward the prevention of coronary artery disease.
Loyola’s pediatric cardiovascular health and disease prevention program brings experts in pediatric cardiology who understand the long-term effect of adolescent lipid disorders and recognize that undiscovered lipid disorders could have a lasting impact on health and well-being.
Loyola is recognized for pediatric prevention and screening for cardiovascular disorders and may recommend screening if your child has one of the following conditions:
Why Choose Loyola for Pediatric Cardiovascular Health?
Loyola’s multidisciplinary team of doctors collaborates with you and your child’s pediatrician to discuss treatment options related to preventive measures, lipid management and acute cardiac conditions needing attention.
In addition, Loyola's pediatric cardiology experts are able to provide assistance to patients seeking a second opinion. Loyola recognizes that you benefit from a team approach, which is why our cardiologists work closely with your child’s pediatrician and have access to expert surgeons, neurologists, endocrinologists, weight management experts and other specialists who are leaders in their field. Our goal is to devise the most effective treatment plan for your child using the most advanced treatment options available.
What to Expect
What to Expect with Pediatric Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
When screening for dyslipidemia in children, pediatric cardiologists at Loyola typically perform the following tests:
- Total cholesterol (TC) — Either fasting or nonfasting
- HDL-C — Either fasting or nonfasting
- LDL-C — For accuracy, fasting samples must be taken
Abnormal lipid levels in children have been strongly associated with the risk of coronary artery disease and related heart problems in adulthood and studies show that early intervention in children and adolescents can make an impact in preventing heart disease.
Once at-risk children are identified, pediatric cardiologists work with patients and their families to develop a comprehensive plan to manage dyslipidemia and build healthy habits into the family's lifestyle. The goal is to decrease the risk of heart disease and improve quality of life—now and in the future.
While not all heart disease risk factors can be controlled, you can take measures to prevent heart disease. At Loyola, we are proud to work with you and your child to provide the information necessary for a healthy life and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Healthy eating and exercise are especially important for children who have an increased risk for coronary artery disease due to dyslipidemia. Children at risk of heart disease should work to maintain a healthy weight because childhood obesity may lead to an even greater risk of coronary artery disease. Loyola's pediatric cardiologists partner with pediatric weight management specialists to support this effort. In addition, lipid-lowering agents, such as medication to reduce certain blood cholesterol, can be effective and even necessary in some patients.