The message is clear and important. There are simple tests to diagnose familial hypercholesterolemia (FH); and effective, affordable treatments to lower LDL cholesterol to stop early heart disease and stroke. But today, only about 15 to 20% of people with FH are being diagnosed and some of them are not receiving enough treatment. The cost of FH under-diagnosis and under-treatment is early heart attacks, expensive bypass surgeries and tragic deaths in families across the globe.
FH Awareness Day was first launched in 2012, when Katherine Wilemon, to fulfill the mission of the Family Heart Foundation; to raise awareness and save lives. At that time, only about 1% of FH patients were diagnosed. Since then, every year, the FH Awareness messages have reached millions of affected families. Today, dedicated groups of individuals born with FH, leading health care providers, professional medical societies, and public health organizations, recognize FH Awareness Day. FH Awareness Day has become the focal point of events and campaigns to shine a light on a common, life-threatening, but largely mis-diagnosed condition.
If someone carries a genetic mutation for FH, their LDL-cholesterol is very high from birth. Early detection of genetic hypercholesterolemia allows for proper care. If high cholesterol and heart disease or strokes run in your family, or in the family of someone you love, we hope you will join the movement to stop FH. For all individuals living with FH, we are in a race against time. The first step is awareness.
What can I do?
- Visit our FH Awareness Day tools page - www.theFHfoundation.org/fh-awareness-day/toolkit. There is a customized toolkit with social media content you can use and printable infographics/posters. Spread the word!
- Join the Family Heart Foundation’s Tweet-a-thon on September 24 at 1:30 pm ET/10:30 am PT and tag #KnowFH
- If you have friends or family with high cholesterol or you know someone who had a heart attack at an early age, tell them about FH and ask them to join the Family Heart Foundation's support groups to learn more.
- Join the Race for FH and Lp(a). Support familial hypercholesterolemia and elevated Lipoprotein(a) awareness by doing a virtual race. It is ongoing throughout September, National Cholesterol Education Month.
- Donate to support the mission of the Family Heart Foundation. Together we can raise awareness, find every individual with FH, and prevent early heart disease