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The National Lipid Association kicked off, "FH: It's Relative-Know Your Family Cholesterol History," a public health campaign about familial hypercholesterolemia, on May 18.
The National Lipid Association (NLA) kicked off a public health campaign about familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) on May 18. The start of the campaign, “FH: It’s Relative-Know Your Family Cholesterol History,” coincided with NLA’s Annual Scientific Sessions in New York City.
The NLA and its foundation believe the campaign is needed because so few people realize that they or their relatives need to get checked for FH, which affects nearly 700,000 Americans.
“It is the most common inherited genetic disease that we can treat in the U.S. It all stems from knowing if you have it,” said Jamie Underberg, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Medical School and director of the Bellevue Hospital Lipid Clinic.
Dr. Underberg and other members of the NLA want patients with high cholesterol and heart disease to be checked for FH, and ask their relatives to be screened as well. “It is a simple blood test and a trip to the doctor. Is there anyone in your family that has had early heart disease? If so, the next step is getting family members screened for FH,” Dr. Underberg said.
The NLA is urging pharmacists, registered dietitians, and other health professionals to spread the word about the FH campaign. To prepare for the “It’s Relative” campaign, 6 papers on FH from the NLA will be published in the May 2011 issue of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.