Wong ND; Hei TK; Qaqundah PY; Davidson DM; Bassin SL; Gold KV.
Television viewing and pediatric hypercholesterolemia.
Pediatrics, 1992 Jul, 90(1 Pt 1):75-9. (UI: 92310880)
Cholesterol screening for children is recommended currently only for those with a family history of premature coronary heart disease or hyperlipidemia. The authors report on a pediatric-office-based cholesterol screening program where the predictive values of family history indicators were evaluated along with reported television viewing, physical activity, and dietary habits in 1081 children (aged 2 to 20 years, mean 7.4 +/- 3.6 [SD] years). Eight percent of these children had a total cholesterol value of 200 mg/dL or higher; 53% of such children reported watching 2 or more hours of television daily compared with 34% of children with lower cholesterol levels. Multivariate analyses revealed that excessive television viewing was the strongest predictor for a child to have a cholesterol value of 200 mg/dL or higher, with relative risks of 2.2 for 2 to 4 hours of television viewing per day (P less than .01) and 4.8 for children watching more than 4 hours/day, when compared to those watching less than 2 hours/day (P less than .01).
In contrast, a positive family history of a high cholesterol level was only modestly associated with an increased probability of having a high cholesterol level (relative risk = 1.6, P less than .05), and a history of premature myocardial infarction in a parent or grandparent was not associated with a child's cholesterol level. Excessive television viewing was found to be associated with certain dietary and physical activity habits and may prove to be a useful, global marker for several life-style factors predisposing children to hypercholesterolemia.