Prediction of Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Patients at High Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk Using a Recently Validated Algorithm
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BACKGROUND: The prevalence of heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is 1 of 250 in the general population and approximately 1 of 125 in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), yet only a minority are diagnosed. The diagnostic criteria for FH rely on a point system using low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), family history, cutaneous manifestations, and molecular diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of FH in the Relating Evidence to Achieve Cholesterol Targets (REACT) registry. METHODS: Patients were enrolled as ASCVD (n = 86) or FH (n = 109) and with an LDL-C level > 3.0 mmol/L despite maximally tolerated statin therapy. FH was diagnosed clinically using a validated clinical application integrating an imputation for baseline (untreated) LDL-C levels. RESULTS: There were 109 men and 86 women with a mean age of 63 ± 12 years. Diabetes (29.7%), hypertension (62.1%), smoking (37.9%), and family history of premature ASCVD (59.5%) were common. On-treatment LDL-C was 4.26 ± 0.94 mmol/L. On the basis of the dose and type of statin ± ezetimibe, imputed baseline LDL-C was 7.04 ± 2.90 mmol/L. A diagnosis of probable/definite FH was found in 54.7%, 49.5%, and 61.5% of patients according to the Simon Broome, Dutch Lipid Clinic Network criteria, and the new Canadian FH definition, respectively. Of note, 40% of patients in the ASCVD inclusion subgroup had probable or definite FH. CONCLUSIONS: Our study reveals that a substantial proportion of patients with ASCVD whose LDL-C levels are > 3.0 mmol/L despite maximally tolerated statins have heterozygous FH. Clinicians should consider using the recently described algorithm to assess the possibility of FH in this high-risk population.