Family Health History of Familial Hypercholesterolemia

Having a family health history of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) makes you more likely to have FH yourself. Most people with FH don’t know they have it. Finding out if you have FH is important so that you can take steps to prevent having an early heart attack or heart disease. Family health history is important for diagnosing FH, so be sure to collect your family health history of high cholesterol, heart attacks, and heart disease.

Tell your doctor if you have:
  • A family member with FH
  • A family health history of LDL cholesterol levels higher than 190 mg/dL in adults or higher than 160 mg/dL in children
  • A father, brother, son, or other male family member who had heart disease or a heart attack before age 50
  • A mother, sister, daughter, or other female family member who had heart disease or a heart attack before age 60

If you need help getting started, you can use the My Family Health Portrait tool to collect and share your family health history information. If your doctor thinks you might have FH, he or she might refer you for genetic counseling and testing. If you have FH, let your family members know.

Page last reviewed: March 17, 2020