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Docs disagree whether kids should get cholesterol tests

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: July 23, 2012 - 11:49 AM

Should all U.S. children get tested for high cholesterol? Doctors are still debating that question months after a government-appointed panel recommended widespread screening that would lead to prescribing medicine for some kids.

Fresh criticism was published online Monday in Pediatrics by researchers at one university who say the guidelines are too aggressive and were influenced by panel members' financial ties to drugmakers.

Eight of the 14 guidelines panel members reported industry ties and disclosed that when their advice was published in December. They contend in a rebuttal article in Pediatrics that company payments covered costs of evaluating whether the drugs are safe and effective but did not influence the recommendations.

It also is not uncommon for experts in their fields to have received some consulting fees from drug companies.

Other criticism was published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That critique raised concerns about putting children on cholesterol drugs called statins, noting the medicine has been linked with a rare muscle-damaging condition in adults. Those authors were heart specialist Bruce Psaty and pediatrician Frederick Rivara, both of the University of Washington in Seattle.

Read more from Associated Press.

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