• FH is not caused by an
    unhealthy lifestyle, but
    is passed from generation
    to generation through an
    “altered” gene

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FH medway report
Finding FH in GP practices Medway

80-90% of Familial Hypercholesterolemia​ (FH) cases remain undiagnosed. Two simple interventions improved diagnosis of genetic inherited high cholesterol in one CCG. Could your CCG establish a similar Familial Hypercholesterolemia programme? 

Blood Fats
Blood Fats

Read our popular Blood Fats Explained leaflet.  

What is Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH)?

Familial hypercholesterolaemia (often shortened to FH) is an inherited condition which leads to exceptionally high cholesterol levels, often double and sometimes four times those of the general population.

Watch our short video​ on FH ►Dr Sarah Jarvis explains more about the signs and symptoms of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) as well as how it can be diagnosed and treated. 

Dr Sarah Jarvis explains more about the signs and symptoms of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH)

As many as one in 250 people may have FH which means more that 260,000 people in the UK may be living with this condition.  

Genetic inherited high cholesterol (Familial Hypercholesterolemia​) is not caused by an unhealthy diet or lifestyle, but is passed from generation to generation through a “faulty” or “altered” gene. This means that brothers and sisters or children of someone with Familial Hypercholesterolemia have a one in two (50%) chance of having the condition. Discover more on how Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is inherited here.

In people with hereditary high cholesterol​, raised levels of cholesterol lead to early heart disease, if left untreated. But early diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia and effective treatment reduces the risk of heart disease and can help ensure that people with FH have a normal life expectancy.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with FH, then these two booklets are an essential read:

Written by HEART UK these two booklets provides a step-by-step explanation of what Familial Hypercholesterolemia is, how it is diagnosed, treatment and tips for everyday living.

You can also order a copy of either booklet from HEART UK by calling our Cholesterol Helpline on 0345 450 5988, by emailing us, or by writing to HEART UK, 7 North Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1PE – mark your envelope FH Booklets

We also offer a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section about Familial Hypercholesterolemia on our website here.

Staying healthy

Eating a healthy diet, not smoking and being physically active are important in helping to keep your cholesterol and other blood fats low.

Inherited cholesterol facts
  • People with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) are at greater risk of heart disease
  • 1 in 250 people in the UK are believed to have FH 
  • Over 260,000 people in the UK may have FH, with fewer than 10% diagnosed
  • 56,000 children in the UK may have FH but only 600 of these are known
Fact sheets
Fact sheets

HEART UK has produced a range of diet and medical fact sheets for you to use and refer to.

What is FH?

Genetic inherited high cholesterol, known as Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) explained.