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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Familial hypercholesterolemia: the lipids or the genes?

Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a common cause of premature cardiovascular disease and is often undiagnosed in young people. Although the disease is diagnosed clinically by high LDL cholesterol levels and family history, to date there are no single internationally accepted criteria for the diagnosis of FH. Several genes have been shown to be involved in FH; yet determining the implications of the different mutations on the phenotype remains a hard task. The polygenetic nature of FH is being enhanced by the discovery of new genes that serve as modifiers. Nevertheless, the picture is still unclear and many unknown genes contributing to the phenotype are most likely involved. Because of this evolving polygenetic nature, the diagnosis of FH by genetic testing is hampered by its cost and effectiveness.In this review, we reconsider the clinical versus genetic nomenclature of FH in the literature. After we describe each of the genetic causes of FH, we summarize the known correlation with phenotypic measures so far for each genetic defect. We then discuss studies from different populations on the genetic and clinical diagnoses of FH to draw helpful conclusions on cost-effectiveness and suggestions for diagnosis.[1]


  1. Familial hypercholesterolemia: the lipids or the genes? Fahed, A.C., Nemer, G.M. Nutr. Metab. (Lond) (2011) [Pubmed]
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