Does Heart Disease Run in Your Family - visual abstract

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visual abstract for finding Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) early

What is FH:

FH is a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. Left untreated, heart attacks happen in

  • 30% of Women by age 60
  • 50% of Men by age 50

Finding and treating  FH early REDUCES coronary heart disease risk by about 80%

How do you know if you have FH?

Signs of FH include:

  • LDL-cholesterol levels over 190 mg/dL
  • Family health history of early heart attacks or heart disease
  • Swollen or painful Achilles tendons
  • Bumps around the knuckles, elbows, or knees

Talk to your doctor if you think you could have FH

Find out if your family members have FH

  • If you have FH, your parents and siblings each have a 50% chance of  having FH
  • Your blood relatives should be checked for FH by looking at their cholesterol levels or genetic testing

Data from Cascade Screening for Familial Hypercholesterolemia and the Use of Genetic Testing
Knowles, Rader, and Khoury JAMA 2017

Page last reviewed: February 4, 2020