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Hope for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia

Hope for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia

When I recently learned that my cholesterol was a bit high, I was told that a regular exercise routine and a couple of oatmeal breakfasts per week should do the trick to bring the numbers back to a normal range. But for Brenda Gundell, a genetic disease called Familial Hypercholesterolemia, or FH, means that simple lifestyle changes won’t make for a quick fix.

FH affects cholesterol processing from birth, and while the condition is common – affecting more thanĀ 600,000 peopleĀ in the U.S. – it is diagnosed in less than 10 percent of those who have it. Gundell was only 15 when she first heard about FH; her father, just 39 at the time, had such extreme levels of total cholesterol that they led to a fatal heart attack. Fortunately for Gundell, while the disease can be destructive, it is, in fact, treatable. And, with the help of FH specialists at Stanford’s Preventive Cardiology Clinic, Gundell has kept her cholesterol in check for the last 17 years and is looking forward to a long life.

Grundell’s story is detailed in the Stanford Hospital video above.

One Response to “ Hope for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia ”

  1. Robert Bramel Says:

    It isn’t so simple. I have Heterozygous FH and I’m a 67 year old male. My total cholesterol is 620 and my LDL is 520. Rarely in my life, even with meds, has my level been below 300. I quit all meds many years ago and I do everything “wrong”, yet my EBCTs consistently show zero calcification and a stress ultrasound of two years ago shows I have the “heart of a 41 year old.” My older sister is similar, and looking backward we see no heart disease in the previous three generations. My great-grandmother was most likely the source of our FH, and she died at 93 of a broken hip. I eat a very high saturated fat diet, almost no fruits, almost no grains, and would never consider eating oatmeal (although I love fruits, breads and oatmeal). What really bothers me is that “experts” all agree there are “people like me” yet those same experts have almost zero interest in digging deep enough to understand why. They are so convinced that elevated cholesterol is causal (never established) rather than associative that they have to ignore contrary evidence.

    Atherosclerosis from FH
    Some get it
    Some don’t
    Experts don’t know why
    Experts don’t seem to care

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