Genetic high cholesterol causes long-term risk of coronary heart disease, stroke
These people are more likely to develop hardened arteries and accelerated coronary heart disease onset by approximately three decades.
Patients who have familial hypercholesterolemia, or inherited high cholesterol, also have a genetic mutation that stops the removal of low-density lipoprotein -- known as LDL, or bad cholesterol -- from the liver and blood.
Scientists estimate that the genetic inheritance is present in approximately 1.5 million people living in the U.S. With data gathered from six groups, the researchers discovered that patients with the genetic disorder have high chances of coronary heart disease, hardened arteries and more, all independent from other risk factors.
“Clinician-patient discussions about guideline-supported therapies can be informed by this data, as in the following scenario: a 25-year-old woman with newly diagnosed familial hypercholesterolemia can be informed that at her current age, if her cholesterol were to remain untreated, her risk of coronary heart disease death or nonfatal heart attack is comparable to that for a 55-year-old woman,” researchers said in the report. “Such an analogy, paired with counseling about how to improve risk, may motivate behavioral changes as well as adoption of and adherence to evidence-based medications.”