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Genetically inherited high cholesterol increases long-term risks of coronary heart disease, stroke

(American Heart Association) Patients who experience high cholesterol due to an inherited genetic disorder from one of their parents -- heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia -- are much more likely than those with average cholesterol levels to have diseases caused by hardening of the arteries, including an accelerated onset of coronary heart disease by up to 30 years, according to new research...
The inherited form of high cholesterol -- familial hypercholesterolemia -- is a genetic disorder that is passed down through families. Individuals with familial hypercholesterolemia have a genetic mutation that prevents the liver from removing excess low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as "bad" cholesterol, from their blood. Familial hypercholesterolemia is suspected when an individual has an LDL cholesterol level greater or equal to 190 mg/dL (which was considered the familial hypercholesterolemia "phenotype" in this paper) in the setting of a family history of premature cardiovascular events.
Researchers estimate that heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia affects up to about 1.5 million people in the United States.
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