Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Hypercholesterolemia


Background Child-parent screening for familial hypercholesterolemia has been proposed to identify persons at high risk for inherited premature cardiovascular disease. We assessed the efficacy and feasibility of such screening in primary care practice. Methods We obtained capillary blood samples to measure cholesterol levels and to test for familial hypercholesterolemia mutations in 10,095 children 1 to 2 years of age during routine immunization visits. Children were considered to have positive screening results for familial hypercholesterolemia if their cholesterol level was elevated and they had either a familial hypercholesterolemia mutation or a repeat elevated cholesterol level 3 months later. A parent of each child with a positive screening result for familial hypercholesterolemia was considered to have a positive screening result for familial hypercholesterolemia if he or she had the same mutation as the child or, if no mutations were identified, had the higher cholesterol level of the two parents. Results The use of a prespecified cholesterol cutoff value of 1.53 multiples of the median (MoM, corresponding to a percentile of 99.2) identified 28 children who had positive screening results for familial hypercholesterolemia (0.3% of the 10,095 children; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.2 to 0.4), including 20 with a familial hypercholesterolemia mutation and 8 with a repeat cholesterol level of at least 1.53 MoM. A total of 17 children who had a cholesterol level of less than 1.53 MoM also had a familial hypercholesterolemia mutation. The overall mutation prevalence was 1 in 273 children (37 in 10,095; 95% CI, 1 in 198 to 1 in 388). The use of an initial cholesterol cutoff value of 1.35 MoM (95th percentile) plus a mutation, or two cholesterol values of at least 1.50 MoM (99th percentile), identified 40 children who had positive screening results for familial hypercholesterolemia (0.4% of the 10,095 children, including 32 children who had a familial hypercholesterolemia mutation and 8 who did not have the mutation) and 40 parents who had positive screening results for familial hypercholesterolemia. Conclusions Child-parent screening was feasible in primary care practices at routine child immunization visits. For every 1000 children screened, 8 persons (4 children and 4 parents) were identified as having positive screening results for familial hypercholesterolemia and were consequently at high risk for cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the Medical Research Council.).

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Genetic disorder, Mutation, Atherosclerosis, Median, Mother, Hypercholesterolemia


Elevated levels of blood cholesterol are associated with cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Current therapies for addressing elevated blood cholesterol can be inadequate, ineffective or associated with side effects; therefore, the search for additional therapies is ongoing. This study evaluated Daily Body Restore (DBR), a proprietary blend of 9 probiotic organisms of the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and 10 digestive enzymes, for its effects on cholesterol metabolism using an in vitro system and a mouse model.

Concepts: Cell, Bacteria, Metabolism, Nutrition, Atherosclerosis, Low-density lipoprotein, Steroid, Hypercholesterolemia


Tendon pain occurs in individuals with extreme cholesterol levels (familial hypercholesterolaemia). It is unclear whether the association with tendon pain is strong with less extreme elevations of cholesterol.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Atherosclerosis, Lipid disorders, Hypercholesterolemia


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


Background Previous trials have shown that the use of statins to lower cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular events among persons without cardiovascular disease. Those trials have involved persons with elevated lipid levels or inflammatory markers and involved mainly white persons. It is unclear whether the benefits of statins can be extended to an intermediate-risk, ethnically diverse population without cardiovascular disease. Methods In one comparison from a 2-by-2 factorial trial, we randomly assigned 12,705 participants in 21 countries who did not have cardiovascular disease and were at intermediate risk to receive rosuvastatin at a dose of 10 mg per day or placebo. The first coprimary outcome was the composite of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke, and the second coprimary outcome additionally included revascularization, heart failure, and resuscitated cardiac arrest. The median follow-up was 5.6 years. Results The overall mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was 26.5% lower in the rosuvastatin group than in the placebo group. The first coprimary outcome occurred in 235 participants (3.7%) in the rosuvastatin group and in 304 participants (4.8%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64 to 0.91; P=0.002). The results for the second coprimary outcome were consistent with the results for the first (occurring in 277 participants [4.4%] in the rosuvastatin group and in 363 participants [5.7%] in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.88; P<0.001). The results were also consistent in subgroups defined according to cardiovascular risk at baseline, lipid level, C-reactive protein level, blood pressure, and race or ethnic group. In the rosuvastatin group, there was no excess of diabetes or cancers, but there was an excess of cataract surgery (in 3.8% of the participants, vs. 3.1% in the placebo group; P=0.02) and muscle symptoms (in 5.8% of the participants, vs. 4.7% in the placebo group; P=0.005). Conclusions Treatment with rosuvastatin at a dose of 10 mg per day resulted in a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular events than placebo in an intermediate-risk, ethnically diverse population without cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AstraZeneca; HOPE-3 number, NCT00468923 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, C-reactive protein, Apolipoprotein B, Cardiovascular diseases, Hypercholesterolemia


Background -Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and other extreme elevations in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol significantly increase the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease; however, recent data suggest that prescription rates for statins remain low in these patients. National rates of screening, awareness, and treatment with statins among individuals with FH or severe dyslipidemia are unknown. Methods -Data from the 1999 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used to estimate prevalence rates of self-reported screening, awareness, and statin therapy among US adults (n=42 471 weighted to represent 212 million US adults) with FH (defined using the Dutch Lipid Clinic criteria) and with severe dyslipidemia (defined as lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol levels ≥190 mg/dL). Logistic regression was used to identify sociodemographic and clinical correlates of hypercholesterolemia awareness and statin therapy. Results -The estimated US prevalence of definite/probable FH was 0.47% (standard error, 0.03%) and of severe dyslipidemia was 6.6% (standard error, 0.2%). The frequency of cholesterol screening and awareness was high (>80%) among adults with definite/probable FH or severe dyslipidemia; however, statin use was uniformly low (52.3% [standard error, 8.2%] of adults with definite/probable FH and 37.6% [standard error, 1.2%] of adults with severe dyslipidemia). Only 30.3% of patients with definite/probable FH on statins were taking a high-intensity statin. The prevalence of statin use in adults with severe dyslipidemia increased over time (from 29.4% to 47.7%) but not faster than trends in the general population (from 5.7% to 17.6%). Older age, health insurance status, having a usual source of care, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and having a personal history of early atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease were associated with higher statin use. Conclusions -Despite the high prevalence of cholesterol screening and awareness, only ≈50% of adults with FH are on statin therapy, with even fewer prescribed a high-intensity statin; young and uninsured patients are at the highest risk for lack of screening and for undertreatment. This study highlights an imperative to improve the frequency of cholesterol screening and statin prescription rates to better identify and treat this high-risk population. Additional studies are needed to better understand how to close these gaps in screening and treatment.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Low-density lipoprotein, Statin, Hypercholesterolemia


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


On November 12, 2013, updated guidelines for the treatment of high blood cholesterol levels were released by the American College of Cardiology-American Heart Association (ACC-AHA) Task Force on Practice Guidelines.(1) This update represents the first major guideline revision since the National Cholesterol Education Program released its Adult Treatment Panel III report in 2002.(2) The previous guidelines were widely accepted and applied with relative consistency. In contrast, the new guidelines have already been the subject of controversy, with some observers arguing that some elements of the recommendations are not evidence-based.(3) Nevertheless, these recommendations may have a major effect on the clinical . . .

Concepts: Cholesterol, Psychology, Atherosclerosis, Lipid disorders, Artery, Hypercholesterolemia, Key signature, National Cholesterol Education Program


There is a direct relationship between chronically elevated cholesterol levels (dyslipidaemia) and coronary heart disease. A reduction in total cholesterol is considered the gold standard in preventative cardiovascular medicine. Exercise has been shown to have positive impacts on the pathogenesis, symptomatology and physical fitness of individuals with dyslipidaemia, and to reduce cholesterol levels. The optimal mode, frequency, intensity and duration of exercise for improvement of cholesterol levels are, however, yet to be identified. This review assesses the evidence from 13 published investigations and two review articles that have addressed the effects of aerobic exercise, resistance training and combined aerobic and resistance training on cholesterol levels and the lipid profile. The data included in this review confirm the beneficial effects of regular activity on cholesterol levels and describe the impacts of differing volumes and intensities of exercise upon different types of cholesterol. Evidence-based exercise recommendations are presented, aimed at facilitating the prescription and delivery of interventions in order to optimize cholesterol levels.

Concepts: Heart, Exercise, Heart disease, Cycling, Strength training, Weight training, Exercise physiology, Hypercholesterolemia


OBJECTIVE: To test whether equivalent energy expenditure by moderate-intensity (eg, walking) and vigorous-intensity exercise (eg, running) provides equivalent health benefits.Approach and Results-We used the National Runners' (n=33 060) and Walkers' (n=15 945) Health Study cohorts to examine the effect of differences in exercise mode and thereby exercise intensity on coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Baseline expenditure (metabolic equivant hours per day [METh/d]) was compared with self-reported, physician-diagnosed incident hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and CHD during 6.2 years follow-up. Running significantly decreased the risks for incident hypertension by 4.2% (P<10(-7)), hypercholesterolemia by 4.3% (P<10(-14)), diabetes mellitus by 12.1% (P<10(-5)), and CHD by 4.5% per METh/d (P=0.05). The corresponding reductions for walking were 7.2% (P<10(-7)), 7.0% (P<10(-8)), 12.3% (P<10(-4)), and 9.3% (P=0.01). Relative to <1.8 METh/d, the risk reductions for 1.8 to 3.6, 3.6 to 5.4, 5.4 to 7.2, and ≥7.2 METh/d were as follows: (1) 10.0%, 17.7%, 25.1%, and 34.9% from running and 14.0%, 23.8%, 21.8%, and 38.3% from walking for hypercholesterolemia; (2) 19.7%, 19.4%, 26.8%, and 39.8% from running and 14.7%, 19.1%, 23.6%, and 13.3% from walking for hypertension; and (3) 43.5%, 44.1%, 47.7%, and 68.2% from running, and 34.1%, 44.2% and 23.6% from walking for diabetes mellitus (walking >5.4 METh/d excluded for too few cases). The risk reductions were not significantly different for running than walking for diabetes mellitus (P=0.94), hypercholesterolemia (P=0.06), or CHD (P=0.26), and only marginally greater for walking than running for hypercholesterolemia (P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Equivalent energy expenditures by moderate (walking) and vigorous (running) exercise produced similar risk reductions for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and possibly CHD.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Stroke, Metabolic syndrome, Cushing's syndrome, Hypercholesterolemia