Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fatal cholesterol disease overlooked and untreated

21.10.2013
Hereditary high blood cholesterol leads to premature heart disease. It is overlooked and untreated virtually worldwide – including in Europe.
This is a major problem as the disease is dangerous for health. However, this disease is easy to diagnose and treat, according to the conclusion of a consensus report from the European Atherosclerosis Society. The report was recently published in the recognised medical journal European Heart Journal.

A new consensus report documents massive underdiagnosis and undertreatment of hereditary high blood cholesterol – so-called familial hypercholesterolaemia – in practically all 200 countries in the world, the only exceptions being the Netherlands and Norway.
Fatal cholesterol disease overlooked and untreated
Between 14 and 34 million people worldwide are estimated to suffer from familial hypercholesterolaemia.

"In most countries, the number of people with familial hypercholesterolaemia is unknown. This means that the condition is not detected until the person develops heart disease or dies suddenly far too young. Considering how easily the disease can be prevented, this situation is an admission of failure from a health perspective," says Børge Nordestgaard, Clinical Professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and Chief Physician at Copenhagen University Hospital. He is the leading author of the new consensus report, which has been published in the European Heart Journal.

"In the general population, between 1 in 200 and 1 in 500 people inherit the disease familial hypercholesterolaemia, making the disease the most frequent hereditary and fatal disease. However, statins, which are safe and inexpensive treatments, can lower cholesterol levels. For these persons with a greatly increased risk of developing serious heart disease, the few side effects associated with statins are negligible," says Børge Nordestgaard.

Between 14 and 34 million people worldwide are estimated to suffer from familial hypercholesterolaemia. In Europe, the number is between 1.8 and 4.5 million and, in Denmark, between 11,000 and 28,000. These figures are based on the large Copenhagen General Population Study.

"In the Netherlands and Norway, most people suffering from familial hypercholesterolaemia have been identified, and are offered cholesterol-lowering treatment with statins. In Denmark, only an estimated 500 persons with familial hypercholesterolaemia have been identified and undergone sufficient treatment," says Børge Nordestgaard.

Easy to diagnose

Familial hypercholesterolaemia is easy to diagnose; it only requires a blood cholesterol test and a family history of early-onset heart disease. Cholesterol levels above 8 mmol/L in adults and above 6 mmol/L in children are a strong indication of the condition, and the diagnosis can be confirmed by a gene test.

"It is surprising and sad that even rich countries with highly developed health systems fail to help these people. It is not a question of economic resources, as the disease is easy to diagnose and inexpensive to treat," says Professor John Chapman. He is one of the co-authors of the report and Professor at the Pitié-Salpêtrière university hospital in Paris.

Coordinated national effort required

According to Børge Nordestgaard, a coordinated national effort is required, with clinics at all major hospitals in most countries, similar to the existing diabetes clinics.

"It would also improve the registration of familial hypercholesterolaemia and the families affected if the WHO decided to assign the disease its own diagnostic code as is the case with diabetes," Børge Nordestgaard concludes.

Contact:

Professor Børge Nordestgaard
Mobile: +45 3028 7263
The European Atherosclerosis Society Consensus Panel, comprised of 28 internationally renowned experts in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, convened twice to consider the current evidence-base for familial hypercholesterolaemia. The Panel is co-chaired by Professor John Chapman, Pitié-Salpetriere University Hospital, Paris, France and Professor Henry Ginsberg, Columbia University, New York, USA.

Professor Borge Nordestgaard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ku.dk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>