Hereditary High Blood Cholesterol not Identified and Treated Effectively

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(Best Syndication News) - A research study from the University of Copenhagen and Herleve Hospital found that more Danes than previously thought have hereditary high blood cholesterol, and the condition is not being treated optimally. The study results were published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Dr Børge Nordestgaard, clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and senior physician at Herlev Hospital, said of the 69,000 Danes investigated, they found that 1 out of 137 people in Denmark had hereditary high blood cholesterol.

The research uncovered that very few of the affected families and individuals with hereditary high cholesterol have been diagnosed and treated appropriately with statin medication. Comparatively, in Holland, people are detected early on for high cholesterol levels and treated accordingly. Because of this early intervention, Holland’s cholesterol risk factor for coronary heart disease has almost been eliminated.

Dr. Marianne Benn, senior physician, also from the University of Copenhagen, said that prior to this study, it was estimated that 1 out of 500 people had hereditary high blood cholesterol. This study found a 3 ½ times higher rate than previous estimates.
The people who with the hereditary high blood cholesterol and who did not take statins, were at a 1,200 percent increased risk for developing coronary heart disease. One-third of the participants who had the elevated cholesterol levels had already showed signs of coronary disease. The people who had the hereditary high blood cholesterol and were taking statins still showed a 900 percent increased risk factor for getting heart disease.

The researchers used the Dutch criteria for excessively elevated blood cholesterol levels and the early start of coronary disease to determine if the participants or their family had hereditary high blood cholesterol. Even when they adjusted for more factors that can cause coronary heart disease, the increased risk remained elevated in the hereditary high blood cholesterol participants.

Based on this study, the researchers estimate that around 50 million people worldwide may have hereditary high blood cholesterol.

By: Marsha Quinn

Ref: "Familial Hypercholesterolemia in the Danish General Population: Prevalence, Coronary Artery Disease, and Cholesterol-Lowering Medication" in the reputed journal, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-1563

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