SOURCE: The National Lipid Association

The National Lipid Association

The National Lipid Association

May 18, 2011 07:00 ET

National Lipid Association Releases New Recommendations for Management of Familial Hypercholesterolemia & Launches Consumer Education Campaign

Recommendations Encourage Universal Cholesterol Screening Starting at Age 9 for Common Hereditary Condition Affecting More Than 600,000 Americans

JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwire - May 18, 2011) - The National Lipid Association (NLA) today announced the publication of new recommendations in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), an inherited condition marked by high LDL cholesterol typically starting in childhood. The NLA is simultaneously launching a consumer education program -- FH, It's Relative: Know Your Family Cholesterol History -- which offers assessment tools and educational resources with the goal of improving early diagnosis by prompting family dialogue about cholesterol.

"It's important that people know if a history of high cholesterol runs in their family," explained Patrick M. Moriarty, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center, National Lipid Association Member and an author of the FH recommendations. "Family discussions can lead to early diagnosis, which is critical because changes in diet and eating habits at a young age can help reduce the impact of FH later in life. Plus, treatment is more effective when started early, before cholesterol deposits in blood vessels become too advanced."

According to the new recommendations, children with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease or elevated cholesterol should be screened for cholesterol beginning at age 2. Screening involves a simple blood test. The recommendations advise that universal cholesterol screening of all other children take place between the ages of 9 and 11.

"FH is more prevalent than cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and type 1 diabetes, yet it remains under-diagnosed and under-treated. Some estimates suggest that only about 20 percent of patients with FH are properly diagnosed and, of those, less than half receive appropriate treatment," said Dr. Moriarty. "The NLA is committed to improving the lives of patients and is proud to focus its public education efforts this year on FH. If we can get families talking, we hope to make a real difference in helping patients get the care they need."

FH, It's Relative: Know Your Family Cholesterol History will offer information about FH, self-assessment tools to help people understand if their family is at risk, education sheets, patient stories and resources for finding a doctor. For more information, visit

About the National Lipid Association
The National Lipid Association (NLA) is a non-profit membership association that serves diverse disciplines such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists and dietitians who help manage patients with lipid disorders and cardiovascular disease.

The NLA's public health mission is to help reduce deaths related to high cholesterol.

The NLA will be hosting its annual Scientific Sessions in New York City from May 19 - 22. The four-day meeting will include intensive educational courses centered on cardio-metabolic subjects including familial hypercholesterolemia, LDL and HDL cholesterol, and lipid testing.

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