Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is one of the most prevalent genetic disorders leading to premature atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. The main cause of FH is a mutation in the LDL-receptor gene that leads to loss of function of these receptors causing high levels of blood cholesterol. The diagnosis of FH is not very easy. Wide screenings are needed to reveal high levels of LDL cholesterol among “healthy” population. If the patient has MI or stroke at an early age, high levels of LDL cholesterol, and tendon xanthomas, the diagnosis of FH becomes much more clear. Genetic testing is a gold standard in the diagnosis of FH. There are several factors, influencing the time course of FH. Smoking males with low levels of HDL cholesterol have an extremely higher risk of death than nonsmoking females with high HDL cholesterol. Management of FH includes low cholesterol diet, statin and ezetimibe treatment, PCSK inhibitors, and LDL aphaeresis. Early and effective treatment influences much the prognosis in FH patients.
Part of the book: Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Pathology