NICE tackles familial hypercholesterolemia

NICE has released guidance to help reduce premature deaths from familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

NICE recommends cascade testing by the age of 10, either through DNA testing or LDL cholesterol concentration measurements, to identify patients who will benefit from early treatment.

GPs should take a thorough family history and, following test results, refer the patient to a specialist for cascade testing.

Dr Rubin Minhas, NICE FH guideline development chairman and a GP in Medway, Kent, said: ‘Once an individual is diagnosed with FH, the condition can be managed, usually with a statin, to help them reach normal life expectancy.’

At the moment 50 per cent of men with untreated FH will have a heart attack by age 50, compared with 30 per cent of women by the age of 60.

Contact Gemma McKenna at medical.temp@haymarket.com

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