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Concept: Familial hypercholesterolemia

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Hypercholesterolemia plays a critical role in atherosclerosis. CD34+ CD45dim Lineage- hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) give rise to the inflammatory cells linked to atherosclerosis. In mice, high cholesterol levels mobilize HSPCs into the bloodstream, and promote their differentiation to granulocytes and monocytes. The objective of our study was to determine how cholesterol levels affect HSPC quantity in humans.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Inflammation, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Hypercholesterolemia

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Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is a common genetic cause of premature coronary heart disease (CHD). Globally, one baby is born with FH every minute. If diagnosed and treated early in childhood, individuals with FH can have normal life expectancy. This consensus paper aims to improve awareness of the need for early detection and management of FH children. Familial hypercholesterolaemia is diagnosed either on phenotypic criteria, i.e. an elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level plus a family history of elevated LDL-C, premature coronary artery disease and/or genetic diagnosis, or positive genetic testing. Childhood is the optimal period for discrimination between FH and non-FH using LDL-C screening. An LDL-C ≥5 mmol/L (190 mg/dL), or an LDL-C ≥4 mmol/L (160 mg/dL) with family history of premature CHD and/or high baseline cholesterol in one parent, make the phenotypic diagnosis. If a parent has a genetic defect, the LDL-C cut-off for the child is ≥3.5 mmol/L (130 mg/dL). We recommend cascade screening of families using a combined phenotypic and genotypic strategy. In children, testing is recommended from age 5 years, or earlier if homozygous FH is suspected. A healthy lifestyle and statin treatment (from age 8 to 10 years) are the cornerstones of management of heterozygous FH. Target LDL-C is <3.5 mmol/L (130 mg/dL) if >10 years, or ideally 50% reduction from baseline if 8-10 years, especially with very high LDL-C, elevated lipoprotein(a), a family history of premature CHD or other cardiovascular risk factors, balanced against the long-term risk of treatment side effects. Identifying FH early and optimally lowering LDL-C over the lifespan reduces cumulative LDL-C burden and offers health and socioeconomic benefits. To drive policy change for timely detection and management, we call for further studies in the young. Increased awareness, early identification, and optimal treatment from childhood are critical to adding decades of healthy life for children and adolescents with FH.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Coronary artery disease, Heart, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma

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About 7% of US adults have severe hypercholesterolemia (untreated LDL cholesterol ≥190 mg/dl). Such high LDL levels may be due to familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a condition caused by a single mutation in any of three genes. Lifelong elevations in LDL cholesterol in FH mutation carriers may confer CAD risk beyond that captured by a single LDL cholesterol measurement.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Low-density lipoprotein, Lipid disorders, Hypercholesterolemia, LDL

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The first aim was to critically evaluate the extent to which familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The second aim was to provide guidance for screening and treatment of FH, in order to prevent coronary heart disease (CHD).

Concepts: Genetic disorder, Atherosclerosis, Angina pectoris, Cardiology, Heart, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Heart disease, Artery

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Background Serum proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) binds to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors, increasing the degradation of LDL receptors and reducing the rate at which LDL cholesterol is removed from the circulation. REGN727/SAR236553 (designated here as SAR236553), a fully human PCSK9 monoclonal antibody, increases the recycling of LDL receptors and reduces LDL cholesterol levels. Methods We performed a phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 92 patients who had LDL cholesterol levels of 100 mg per deciliter (2.6 mmol per liter) or higher after treatment with 10 mg of atorvastatin for at least 7 weeks. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 8 weeks of treatment with 80 mg of atorvastatin daily plus SAR236553 once every 2 weeks, 10 mg of atorvastatin daily plus SAR236553 once every 2 weeks, or 80 mg of atorvastatin daily plus placebo once every 2 weeks and were followed for an additional 8 weeks after treatment. Results The least-squares mean (±SE) percent reduction from baseline in LDL cholesterol was 73.2±3.5 with 80 mg of atorvastatin plus SAR236553, as compared with 17.3±3.5 with 80 mg of atorvastatin plus placebo (P<0.001) and 66.2±3.5 with 10 mg of atorvastatin plus SAR236553. All the patients who received SAR236553, as compared with 52% of those who received 80 mg of atorvastatin plus placebo, attained an LDL cholesterol level of less than 100 mg per deciliter, and at least 90% of the patients who received SAR236553, as compared with 17% who received 80 mg of atorvastatin plus placebo, attained LDL cholesterol levels of less than 70 mg per deciliter (1.8 mmol per liter). Conclusions In a randomized trial involving patients with primary hypercholesterolemia, adding SAR236553 to either 10 mg of atorvastatin or 80 mg of atorvastatin resulted in a significantly greater reduction in LDL cholesterol than that attained with 80 mg of atorvastatin alone. (Funded by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01288469 .).

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Monoclonal antibodies, Low density lipoprotein receptor gene family

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Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in both low-density lipoprotein receptor alleles, which results in extremely elevated plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations and very early morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular disease.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Disease, Genetic disorder, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Low-density lipoprotein

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Familial hypercholesterolaemia is an inherited disorder, leading to accumulation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles in plasma and premature cardiovascular disease. Although the phenotype of the rare homozygous form is always severe, the phenotypic expression of the common heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia can vary considerably. Beyond the magnitude of the LDL-cholesterol elevation and the type of mutation, additional genetic, metabolic and environmental cardiovascular risk factors lead to the substantial variations in the clinical manifestations and severity of atherosclerotic disease. Heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia is often under-diagnosed and under-treated, and there is an unmet need in terms of management of severe heterozygous forms. Homozygous and severe heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia should receive more intensive treatment and alternative therapeutic approaches are needed for these high-risk patients. In this article, we review the recommendations for diagnosis and treatment of severe familial hypercholesterolaemia and the agents currently available or under development.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Apolipoprotein B

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-Cardiovascular disease burden and treatment patterns among patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) in the US remain poorly described. In 2013, the FH Foundation launched the CAscade SCreening for Awareness and DEtection (CASCADE) of FH Registry to address this knowledge gap.

Concepts: United States, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, California, Oregon, Washington, Cascade Range

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An Expert Panel convened by the National Lipid Association was charged with updating the recommendations on the use of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) antibody therapy that were provided by the 2015 National Lipid Association Recommendations for the Patient-Centered Management of Dyslipidemia: Part 2. Recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy of these agents in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and have confirmed their excellent safety profile. A cardiovascular outcomes study has shown that these agents reduce incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events in patents with stable ASCVD and concomitant risk factors. The current update provides the Expert Panel’s evidence-based recommendations on the clinical utility of PCSK9 inhibitors in patients with stable ASCVD, progressive ASCVD, familial hypercholesterolemia phenotype/low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ≥190 mg/dL, and very-high-risk patients with statin intolerance.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Lipoprotein