Hypercholesterolemia is a medical disorder in which high levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) collect inside the arterial walls and inhibit blood flow to essential organs like the heart and the brain. If not diagnosed early enough, hypercholesterolemia can lead to premature strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease. Recent medical findings have many people asking, “Is hypercholesterolemia hereditary?” In some cases, it can be. One of the lesser known and understood examples is Familial Hypercholesterolemia.
Is Hypercholesterolemia Hereditary?
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a form of hypercholesterolemia that is genetically inherited from one or both parents. There are two types of inherited familial hypercholesterolemia homozygous (inherited from both parents) and heterozygous (inherited from one parent). Homozygous hypercholesterolemia is rarer, occurring roughly once out of every 160,000 to one million births. It is also usually more severe and difficult to treat than its heterozygous counterpart.
Signs of Familial Hypercholesterolemia
If you are a patient with hypercholesterolemia, you may be wondering, “Is my hypercholesterolemia hereditary?” Outlined below are several signs and risk factors for FH. If you display any of these, meet with an FH specialist as soon as possible in order to get early and proper treatment, if necessary.
- Family history of FH
- Cholesterol deposits on body
- Strokes at young age
- Heart attacks at young age
- Chest pain for unknown reasons
If occurring in combination, these factors are strong indicators that a patient may be living with FH. An FH specialist will arrange for tests to determine whether the disorder is indeed present.
How Is FH Diagnosed?
Roughly 90% of people who have FH do not receive adequate treatment for the condition, and are thus at risk for premature cardiac problems. If you think you may have FH, talk to an FH specialist about getting tested as soon as possible. By conducting procedures like lipid measurements or genetic analysis, an FH specialist can determine whether a person has FH, what kind he/she has, and the best course of treatment.
How We Help
The FH Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides information and awareness about FH through education, advocacy, and research. Interested parties can contribute through volunteering and financial donations. Visit our website for more information about FH, how you can help us, or how we can help you. By working together, we can win the battle against FH and improve the quality of people’s lives.For more information about FH and the FH Foundation, call us today at (626) 465-1234, or use our contact form.