More than 600,000 Americans have inherited high levels of cholesterol, known as familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). But 80% of those affected are undiagnosed—and have no idea they are at risk.
FH patients have mutations in their genes that limit the body’s ability to remove cholesterol, thereby increasing the amount of cholesterol in their bloodstream. Abnormally high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream can lead to serious and potentially fatal problems with the heart and blood vessels, including heart attack, stroke and even death. FH causes progressive build-up of artery-blocking plaque; patients may not recognize any symptoms or be aware of the condition. The first symptoms can be a fatal heart attack or stroke.
The aim of treatment is to reduce your LDL-cholesterol to an acceptable level, thereby preventing or delaying heart disease. A lipidologist, a health care provider who specializes in treating diseases like FH, can develop the best treatment plan for you. To locate a lipidologist in your area, visit www.learnyourlipids.com.
Blood tests may show:
This handy tear sheet provides an explanation for patients on what FH is all about, how it is diagnosed and how it affects the family.
We are unable to supply Patient Tear Sheets in printed form. Tear Sheets are provided for your convenience and your patients and may be reproduced without modification digitally or in print with copyright and attribution information intact.
For more information about the National Lipid Association or its charitable arm, the Foundation of the National Lipid Association, please visit these links.lipid.org lipidfoundation.org