Adherence with lipid screening guidelines in standard- and high-risk children and adolescents.

TitleAdherence with lipid screening guidelines in standard- and high-risk children and adolescents.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBerger JH, Chen F, Faerber JA, O'Byrne ML, Brothers JA
JournalAm Heart J
Date Published2020 Oct 24

Because atherosclerosis begins in childhood, universal lipid screening is recommended with special attention to conditions predisposing to early atherosclerosis. Data about real-world penetration of these guidelines is not available.

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study using MarketScan® commercial and Medicaid insurance claims databases, a geographically representative sample of U.S. children. Subjects who passed through the 9- to 11-year window and had continuous insurance coverage between 1/1/2013 and 12/31/2016 were studied. Multivariable models were calculated, evaluating the association between other patient factors and the likelihood of screening. The primary hypothesis was that screening rates would be low, but that high-risk conditions would be associated with a higher likelihood of screening.

RESULTS: In total, 572,522 children (51% male, 33% black, 11% Hispanic, 51% Medicaid) were studied. The prevalence of high-risk conditions was 2.2%. In unadjusted and adjusted analyses, these subjects were more likely to be screened than standard-risk subjects (47% vs. 20%, OR: 3.7, 95% CI 3.5-3.8, P < .001). Within this group, the diagnosis-specific likelihood of screening varied (26-69%). Endocrinopathies (OR 5.4, 95% CI 5.2-5.7), solid organ transplants (OR 5.0, 95% CI 3.8-6.6), and metabolic disease (OR 3.9, 95% CI 3.1-5.0, all P < .001) were associated with the highest likelihood of undergoing screening.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite national recommendations, lipid screening was performed in a minority of children. Though subjects with high-risk conditions had a higher likelihood of screening, rates remained low. This study highlights the need for research and advocacy regarding obstacles to lipid screening of children in the United States.

Alternate JournalAm Heart J
PubMed ID33229294