Making a Familial Hypercholesterolaemia diagnosis
Your doctor may suspect you have Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) if:
- There is a history of early cardiovascular disease in close family members
- You are a man and have a heart attack before the age of 50, or 60 in a woman
- Your cholesterol is very high and other causes have been ruled out
- Other family members have been diagnosed with FH
- You have any physical signs of FH
When should Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) be diagnosed?
It is important to diagnose Familial Hypercholesterolaemia early. This is because treatment is more effective the sooner it is started. People who are diagnosed early and treated live as long as individuals without FH, and in some cases longer.
Children born to a parent with Familial Hypercholesterolaemia can be tested as early as their second birthday. It is recommended that they are tested before they reach the age of 10.
To make a diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia your doctor will:
- Arrange for you to have a fasting blood test to check the levels of cholesterol in your blood
- Do a physical examination to check for signs of FH on your body
- Ask you some questions about your family history
- They may also arrange for you to have a genetic test – but this is not available everywhere
Making a definite or possible diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia
In the UK most doctors diagnose Familial Hypercholesterolaemia clinically using the Simon Broome Criteria.