Guidelines on inherited high cholesterol

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 56 , No. 10 , December 2014 , Pages 485 News

Canada is establishing a national registry and family screening program for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), or inherited high cholesterol, to assist in recognition and early treatment of a genetic disorder that leads to premature heart disease and cardiac death. People with FH have substantially increased risk of cardiovascular disease early in life, but generally don’t know about it. If undetected and untreated, it can result in major or fatal cardiovascular events in people as young as their 20s. If FH is detected early, current treatments are effective at lowering a patient’s risk to normal levels. The goal of the new recommendations is to increase awareness of inherited high cholesterol and in turn improve early detection and treatment. 

Suspicions should be aroused when a patient has a personal or family history of premature cardiovascular disease, significant high cholesterol, or both, particularly at a young age. Diagnosis of FH can then be confirmed by genetic testing. The new national registry of FH patients will also help track known families with the disorder and identify others potentially at risk.

. Guidelines on inherited high cholesterol. BCMJ, Vol. 56, No. 10, December, 2014, Page(s) 485 - News.

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