Recent study shows high number of preteens have unhealthy cholesterol levels

Screening kids for unhealthy cholesterol levels. (AP Photo)

HOUSTON (AP) - There's fresh evidence that many young people could be headed for heart trouble.

A study of preteens in Texas found that about one-third of them had borderline or high cholesterol when tested during routine physical exams.

High cholesterol rarely causes symptoms in young people. But more than half of them will go on to have it in adulthood, raising their risk for stroke and heart attacks.

The study involved 13,000 youths ages 9 through 11 at dozens of clinics in the Houston area. Unhealthy cholesterol levels were found in 34 percent.

Doctors say the results support recent guidelines calling for every child to have a cholesterol screening test between ages 9 and 11.

The study will be discussed this weekend at an American College of Cardiology conference in Washington.