Adults with inherited high cholesterol are underdiagnosed and undertreated

March 31, 2014

An estimated 1 in 500 people worldwide suffer from familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited condition of extremely high cholesterol that is associated with premature heart disease and death. Despite this high prevalence, recent research funded by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) confirms FH is underdiagnosed and undertreated. Thomas Knickelbine, MD, Preventive Cardiology Director at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, will present the results of research aimed at identifying just how prevalent FH underdiagnosis is at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting in Washington, DC on March 30.

Dr. Knickelbine and a team of MHIF researchers analyzed the (EHRs) of 391,166 consenting ambulatory seen at Allina Health locations between 2009 and 2012 to identify individuals who were at least 80% likely to have FH (determined by low-density lipoprotein [LDL or "bad" cholesterol"] levels and age). They discovered 841 patients (0.21% or 1 in ~465) who were likely to have FH—only 36 (4.3%) of them had been diagnosed with the condition. "Provider recognition of FH is extremely low," explains Dr. Knickelbine. "Our research shows we can effectively use EHR data to identify asymptomatic FH patients and improve early diagnosis and treatment of this high-risk condition."

In this large, ambulatory patient population, the researchers also found that FH was undertreated. Of the 841 patients likely to have FH, 64.8% were on statin medications, but an additional 25.8% were not currently on a statin nor were they reported to be statin intolerant. In addition, only about one fourth of the identified FH group had achieved their NCEP LDL goal, and only 31% had been seen by a cardiovascular (CV) specialist.

Explore further: Early statin therapy helps kids with inherited high cholesterol

Related Stories

Early statin therapy helps kids with inherited high cholesterol

November 18, 2013
Children with inherited high levels of cholesterol who receive cholesterol-lowering statins in their early years have a lower risk of coronary heart disease than their affected parents, according to research presented at ...

Study raises questions over effectiveness of recommended genetic testing strategy for inherited high cholesterol

February 21, 2013
Research published Online First in The Lancet provides new evidence that a substantial proportion of individuals with a clinical diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) inherit a combination of small-effect changes ...

Evolocumab safely drops LDL cholesterol well below statin-only baseline

March 31, 2014
The monoclonal antibody evolocumab produced highly significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the "bad cholesterol," as an add-on to statins in all treatment groups, according to data from the LAPLACE-2 ...

Low-dose statins good option for some heart patients, study finds

February 10, 2014
(HealthDay)—A new analysis suggests that people at high risk for heart disease who can't take high-dose statin drugs to lower their cholesterol might benefit from a treatment combination that includes taking a low-dose ...

A new study shows that even micro heart attacks are a major problem

March 31, 2014
Researchers at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital have found that cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging may help doctors better identify which patients with mild heart disease are likely to ...

Primary cardiovascular disease prevention is leaving the office

March 31, 2014
Early results from HeartBeat Connections, a telemedicine program supported by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF), suggest effective primary prevention for cardiovascular disease (CVD) may be achieved with a ...

Recommended for you

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?

July 18, 2017
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat

July 17, 2017
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the ...

Concerns over side effects of statins stopping stroke survivors taking medication

July 17, 2017
Negative media coverage of the side effects associated with taking statins, and patients' own experiences of taking the drugs, are among the reasons cited by stroke survivors and their carers for stopping taking potentially ...

Study discovers anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

July 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.

Protein may protect against heart attack

July 14, 2017
DDK3 could be used as a new therapy to stop the build-up of fatty material inside the arteries

Heart study finds faulty link between biomarkers and clinical outcomes

July 14, 2017
Surrogate endpoints (biomarkers), which are routinely used in clinical research to test new drugs, should not be trusted as the ultimate measure to approve new health interventions in cardiovascular medicine, according to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.