Doctors debate cholesterol tests on kids

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HOUSTON - Doctors are still debating whether all U.S. children should be tested for high cholesterol.

The question is being raised months after a government-appointed panel recommended widespread screening that would lead to prescribing medicine for some kids.

Fresh criticism was published online Monday by researchers at a university who said the guidelines are too aggressive and were influenced by panel members' financial ties to drug makers.

Eight of the 14 guidelines panel members reported industry ties and disclosed that when their advice was published in December. They contended, in a rebuttal article, 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.

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