Heart Disease, Family Health History, and Familial Hypercholesterolemia

a African American multi-generational family

Having a family health history of heart disease makes you more likely to develop heart disease yourself. In some cases, having family members with heart disease at a young age (age 50 or younger) can be a sign of familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that causes high cholesterol. Take time to collect your family health history of heart disease and share this information with your doctor and other family members. Your doctor can help you take steps to lower your chances of having heart disease.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)

COVID-19 is a new disease and information on risk factors for severe disease is limited. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, people who have serious heart disease are among those more likely to have severe illness from COVID-19. If untreated, people with FH are up to 22 times more likely to have coronary heart disease than those without FH. Although not everyone with FH has heart disease, many do. Everyone is encouraged to take certain steps to protect themselves from getting sick with COVID-19. It is especially important that those with increased risks, such as serious heart disease, take these steps.

Click here to learn steps you can take to help protect yourself, especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Be sure to keep taking prescribed FH medications including statins and PCSK9 inhibitors as directed by your healthcare provider. Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra FH medications. Consider telemedicine appointments if you need to see your healthcare provider.

Page last reviewed: March 2, 2020