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The Informed Parent

What’s Up Doc?

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Apr. 11, 2011

1. Does stimulant medication shorten the growth rate?

This question is constantly brought up in the clinical practice of ADD.  Joseph Biederman, M.D., Thomas J. Spencer, M.D., Michael C. Monuteaux, ScD. and Stephen V. Faraone, Ph.D. addressed this matter in their article that appeared in THE JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS, 2010; 157;635-40.  They support the concept that there is no deficit in height growth associated with the stimulant treatment for ADD.

That has certainly been my own experience, but it is reassuring to see evidence to support this in peer reviewed material.

2.  Is universal screening for elevated cholesterol better than measuring serum cholesterol only in offspring with a family history of hypercholesterolemia?

This is a valid question because so often universal lab screening does not significantly add to the discovery rate if the family history for the condition is negative.

Susan K. Ritchie, R.N., MPH, CPNP, et. al. in PEDIATRICS, August 2010, vol. 126, p. 260 clearly show that routine screening of all children would find cases of dyslipidemia that would not have been indicated by family history.

I agree with the authors and do routine testing of serum cholesterol on all patients during childhood. 

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