Patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) — a genetic disorder that is marked by very high cholesterol levels and is passed down through families — appeared much more likely than patients who did not have FH to have accelerated coronary heart disease or a stroke, according to the researchers behind this study.
Heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is estimated to affect as many as 1.5 million Americans, according to a press release about this research.
Researchers have long been aware of the link between high cholesterol and heart disease, but this study looks at the link between genetically inherited high cholesterol and heart disease risk.
These researchers looked at data from several other studies to reach their conclusions.
But it isn't hopeless for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, these researchers noted. Cholesterol-lowering medications can manage this condition.
This study was published recently in the journal Circulation.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine funded this research. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.