What are the risks with FH?
If you have FH, your LDL-cholesterol levels will be very high, leading to narrowing or blockage of blood vessels (atherosclerosis). This process starts prior to birth and can ultimately result in heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Because people with FH have excessive cholesterol levels since before their birth, their risk of heart disease is 20 times greater than that of the general population. If a child has Homozygous FH (inherited the FH gene from both parents), she is exposed to an even higher risk, because her LDL-cholesterol levels are extraordinarily elevated and lead to progressive heart disease very early in life (often in the teens). Other CVD risk factors include smoking, over-weight, high blood pressure, and a sedentary life. If you have FH, eliminate smoking, control your weight and blood pressure, and lead a physically active lifestyle. All these are important factors, together with medical therapy and a healthful diet, in lowering your risk of an early heart attack.
If left untreated, people with FH have 20 times the risk of developing early aggressive heart disease.
- Heart disease is the number 1 killer of men and women globally.
- More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined.
- A man with FH has a 50% chance of having a heart attack before the age of 50.
FH is a genetic condition affecting cholesterol metabolism.
FH is inherited – It runs in families.
- If you have FH, each of your children has a 50% chance of having FH
There are two forms of FH.
– Heterozygous (HeFH) – FH inherited from only 1 parent
– Homozygous (HoFH) – FH inherited from both parents (patients with HoFH are at an even higher risk of early heart disease)
If FH is left untreated, it can lead to heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
Accurate diagnosis and treatment can lead to normal life span.
Other risk factors are smoking, weight and a sedentary life. If you have FH, eliminate smoking, control your weight, and lead a physically active lifestyle. All these are important factors, together with therapy and a healthy diet, in lowering your risk of an early heart attack.