Medical Advances 2015-10-09 Heart Risk and Inherited High Cholesterol Main Article Content Breadcrumb navigation All/Medical Advances/Heart Risk and Inherited High Cholesterol Study Shows Increased Risk for Heart Disease This article was originally published in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine News Center. It has been edited and expanded for the Breakthroughs in Care audience. According to research from Northwestern Medicine, the risk of developing coronary heart disease significantly increases for those with genetically inherited high cholesterol. About 1.5 million people in the United States have a form of high cholesterol called familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that prevents the liver from removing excess low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol from the blood. Signs of the condition include LDL cholesterol levels greater than or equal to 190 mg/dL as well as a family history of premature cardiovascular events. “This is quite common in the population, and the risks have never been quantified in the United States,” said senior study author Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, who is senior associate dean for Clinical and Translational Research, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and director of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS).“For those with this condition, the risk of heart disease is accelerated at a younger age, resulting in life years lost or a life lived with heart disease.” For the study, the team pooled data from six groups of people in epidemiological studies, between the ages of 20-79, with 1.2 million person years of follow-up. The data showed that those with familial hypercholesterolemia are five times more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared to those with average levels of LDL over the long term (up to 30 years). In addition, they are also more likely to have an accelerated onset of coronary heart disease, up to 20 years early in men and 30 years early in women. Since individuals with familial hypercholesterolemia can be treated with cholesterol-lowering drugs to decrease the risks of heart disease and stroke, scientists believe these findings are important in helping clinicians communicate the risks of this health condition with their patients. Interested in hearing more from Northwestern Medicine? Sign up for the Healthy Tips E‑Newsletter for everything from health and wellness ideas to patient breakthroughs to academic and medical advancements. Share This Page Related Topics Science and Research Prevention Heart and Vascular Northwestern Medicine - On a relentless pursuit of better medicine. Related Content Health Library What Does Your Blood Type Mean for Your Health? Knowing your blood type can be crucial in a medical emergency, but it can also offer some interesting insight into your health. See how your blood type might play a role in your well-being. Medical Advances Amish Longevity May be Due to Genetic ‘Fountain of Youth’ Genetic mutation in extended Amish family in Indiana protects against aging and increases longevity. An experimental “longevity” drug that recreates the effect of the mutation is now being tested in human trials to see if it provides protection against some aging-related illnesses. Medical Advances Online Tool Predicts Heart Disease Events in Young Adults If you knew you were at risk for heart attack or stoke, would you change your lifestyle? Learn how a new online tool could help young adults predict heart disease. Medical Advances Can Interventions Reduce Antibiotic Overuse? Overuse of antibiotics contributes to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, increases healthcare costs, and exposes patients to unnecessary risk of side effects. Daily Health Skin Care Trends: Fact or Fiction? From charcoal masks to exfoliating acid, Northwestern Medicine explains the truth behind some popular skin care fads. Medical Advances Regenerating Tissue with “Origami Organs” Find out how an accidental 3-D ink spill sparked the invention of bioactive tissue papers – leading to big innovations in the medical field. Medical Advances Reducing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome After Birth A study by Northwestern Medicine shows commonly used drugs might be able to reduce fetal alcohol syndrome after birth. Emotional Health 5 Things You Never Knew About Fear The truth behind your body’s physical and emotional response to fear, horror and clowns. Health Library 12 Articles About Breast Health & Breast Cancer We’ve rounded up some of our favorite, most helpful articles about breast cancer and general breast health. Medical Advances How Does Time in Space Affect Health? Northwestern Medicine scientists teamed up with NASA to find out how spending a year in space affects health. Medical Advances New Insights into How the Brain Processes Scent Northwestern Medicine researchers gain new insights into how quickly the human brain processes scent. Medical Advances Wearables Help Scientists Track Patient Data Wearable technology helps researchers gather information and devise innovative ways to treat and prevent disease. Emotional Health 4 Ways to Alleviate Anxiety Everyone worries once in a while. It’s a common, warranted, sometimes even healthy thing to do. But how much worrying is too much worrying? Medical Advances Pinpointing Cost-Effective Diagnostics for a Common Urological Condition A new approach to detecting genitourinary cancer seeks to maximize diagnosis and minimize cost and harm to patients. Daily Health Long Weekend Health Reads Relax with a good book. Our physicians recommend it. Medical Advances Investigating the Impact of Testosterone Treatment on Older Men’s Health A new study looks at the association between testosterone treatment and measures of anemia, cognitive function and coronary artery plaque. Medical Advances RNA Test Helps Identify Bacterial Infections in Infants A new study could change the way physicians test for bacterial infections on infants. Medical Advances Pioneering Precision Medicine in Cancer Learn how the team at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is pioneering precision medicine in cancer treatment. Medical Advances New Insights Into the Regulation of Cellular Iron Insights into cellular iron could lead to new therapies for people with iron deficiency or iron overload. Medical Advances A Life-Saving Stop Northwestern Medicine scientists have found a molecule that stops a fatal brain tumor affecting 300 children every year. Health Library Home Genetic Tests: What to Expect At-home genetic testing is becoming more and more popular. Here’s what you need to know. Health Library The Healing Power of Gardens The healing gardens at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital help patients recovering from physical injuries, stroke and neurological conditions. Medical Advances The Scientists Behind Better Care Science and research informs the care provided by Northwestern Medicine physicians, many of whom are scientists themselves. Meet four. Medical Advances A Better Response for Liver Transplants Northwestern Medicine study is the first to investigate how antiviral drugs might prevent reinfection at the time of liver transplantation. Medical Advances Genetic Mutation Linked to OCD-Like Behavior Northwestern Medicine research into brain circuits and receptor genes provides insight into causes of obsessive-compulsive behavior. Medical Advances Stunting the Spread of MLL Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a molecular therapy that can halt the growth of a lethal pediatric leukemia. Medical Advances The First Insights on Intellicare A new suite of mini-apps designed by Northwestern Medicine scientists is providing effective mental health advice on your smartphone. Medical Advances A Mini Model for Menstrual Health Northwestern Medicine has developed a miniature female reproductive tract called EVATAR that is revolutionizing research and drug testing in women’s health. Fitness From Time Zone to Strike Zone Jet lag has been shown to impair the performance of major league baseball players, especially when the travel involves multiple time zones. Wellness Encouraging Communication in Children From playing games to implementing strategies, there are many ways to help promote communication in children who are nonverbal. Medical Advances The Underestimated Heart Risk of HIV Current tools to predict the risk of heart attack and stroke vastly underestimate the risk in individuals with HIV. Medical Advances How PTSD is Harming Women in Chicago Research highlights PTSD and severe depression in women in underserved neighborhoods. Wellness 5 Benefits of Healthy Relationships Positive relationships are good for your heart, and your health. Health Library Heart Health Roundup Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women. Learn more about your heart and a healthy life. Nutrition How to Cut Back on Sugar Eating less sugar can help control weight and improve overall health. Nutrition More Sugar, More Problems [Infographic] Get the facts about sugar and why the danger of overconsumption has been overlooked and underestimated in the past. Medical Advances Simulating Skin and Bones Ever wonder what a medical student uses to safely practice suturing? With Northwestern Medicine, the answer is easy: 3D printing. Medical Advances A New Technology to Identify Stroke Risk A new imaging technique developed at Northwestern that could lead to better treatment and outcomes for all patients with atrial fibrillation. Medical Advances Pinpointing the Placebo Effect Identifying the brain region responsible for the pain-killing placebo effect could result in better treatment for millions of Americans with chronic pain. Medical Advances The Circadian Clocks That Control Exercise Response Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered circadian clocks in muscle tissue that control metabolic response and energy efficiency. Medical Advances Using Data to Improve Heart Patient Care Northwestern Medicine scientists use data science to develop a methodology that can be used to improve patient experience in clinical practices. Wellness New Year, Better You 5 alternative ways to ring in the new year with resolutions you can keep. Medical Advances Building Better Bones With 3D Printing A Northwestern University research team has developed 3D printable ink that produces a synthetic bone implant that rapidly induces growth. Medical Advances A New Target for Antidepressants A new pathway in the brain offers a promising new target to treat depression for people for whom other antidepressants have failed. Medical Advances Attacking an Epidemic From All Angles Cross-disciplinary research from Northwestern Medicine is revealing effective, affordable interventions to stop diabetes in its tracks. Wellness Give a Gift for Better Health How giving a gift improves emotional and physical health. Medical Advances Ovary Transplants Lead Way to Restore Fertility After Cancer A Northwestern Medicine study demonstrated a first step toward a new approach to improving fertility in childhood cancer survivors. Medical Advances A Better Way to Breast Cancer Care Screening for mutations can help clinicians choose most effective therapies for breast cancer patients, according to new research. Medical Advances Building Better Memory After Breast Cancer A new study found that physical activity is related to improved subjective memory in breast cancer survivors. Medical Advances Leading Research on LGBT Care Learn what was said at the first annual State of LGBT Health Symposium. Medical Advances The Ultimate Nanoparticle Tool Northwestern scientists are developing a tool to rapidly test millions of nanoparticles at one time to zero in on the best particle for a specific use. Medical Advances Using Social Data to Improve LGBT Health Northwestern Medicine scientists are developing a software tool that will simplify and streamline social network data collection related to HIV. Medical Advances Data Science Part Two Northwestern Medicine scientists are extracting insight from vast amounts of data with the help of high tech computers. Medical Advances Data Science, Part One Data science is transforming medical research and is already informing such fields as cardiovascular disease, cancer and pediatrics. Medical Advances Stretchable Health Technology Stretchable technology is making headlines, thanks to scientists who believe in the connection between engineering and science. Medical Advances How Stem Cells Can Predict Side Effects of Cancer Treatment A new method based on Northwestern Medicine research can help predict patient response to chemotherapy and prevent dangerous side effects. Medical Advances When Should You Worry About Misbehavior? A new method developed by scientists may be able to distinguish between normal childhood misbehavior and that which is cause for concern. Medical Advances Clearing the Way to Clear Skin A new drug called Ixekizumab has cleared psoriasis in clinical trials led by Northwestern Medicine. Medical Advances Missed, But At Risk A new study revealed that the guidelines for diabetes screenings missed 55 percent of high-risk individuals with prediabetes or diabetes. Medical Advances A Trojan Horse for Asthma A new approach to treating asthma and allergies from Northwestern Medicine hides allergens in a nanoparticle to get by the immune system. Medical Advances What Determines Chronic Pain? A new study from Northwestern Medicine scientists has found that the brain, and not an initial injury, may determine the risk of developing chronic pain. Wellness The Expansive Impact of Navigator Programs Guidance from trained navigators can help patients overcome healthcare inequities. Medical Advances How Loved Ones May Help Awaken the Comatose Brain Patients in comas may benefit from a new treatment that uses the familiar voices of loved ones. Medical Advances How Nanoparticles Destroy Cancer Cells In a new study, Northwestern Medicine scientists successfully used magnetic nanoparticles to mechanically damage tumor cells in animal models. Medical Advances The Impact of Therapy on Genetic Depression According to a new Northwestern Medicine study, nurture may be able to override nature when it comes to experiencing depression. Medical Advances Can Exercise Programs Prevent Falls? 20 to 30 percent of community-living older men and women fall each year and can experience moderate or severe injury from their falls. Medical Advances An Immunotherapy Approach to Brain Cancer Northwestern Medicine scientists are studying strategies to reverse pathways that prevent the immune system from fighting a fatal brain tumor. Medical Advances How Synapses Shed Light on Psych Disorders Neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and epilepsy have long been linked to gene mutations. Medical Advances The Insight in Alzheimer Amyloids Imaging technology has given Northwestern Medicine unprecedented insight into dementia and Alzheimer’s. Medical Advances ER Visits for 'Marijuana Tourists' Since 2014, Colorado has seen a 109 percent increase in weed-related emergency room visits by out-of-state visitors. Medical Advances A Coffee A Day An observation from a routine clinical trial could offer a breakthrough lead in colon cancer prevention. Medical Advances A New Key to Childhood Kidney Cancer Scientists at Northwestern Medicine discovered a new genetic mutation that could offer fresh insight on Wilms tumor. Medical Advances The Early Impact of a Heart Healthy Diet A recent study suggests that following a healthy diet in young adulthood can decrease the likelihood of heart disease later in life. Medical Advances Heart Risk at an Early Age New research suggests children with allergic diseases could be at higher risk for heart disease. Medical Advances An Implant to Intercept Cancer Metastasis is incredibly hard to treat, but scientists at Northwestern Medicine are working on an implant to catch spreading cancer cells earlier. Medical Advances Clocking Diabetes Research from Northwestern Medicine reveals the pathways through which body clocks control the release of insulin through the pancreas. Medical Advances Research Reveals Treatment for Rare Form of Muscular Dystrophy Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2C is rare and has no treatment, but research from Northwestern Medicine may offer an answer. Medical Advances Gene Therapy Provides Relief for Painful Diabetes Complication Many people with type one diabetes suffer from painful diabetic neuropathy, but scientists may have found an effective treatment. Wellness 5 Facts About Fatherhood From dad bods to depression, new research from Northwestern Medicine is uncovering how fatherhood affects a man’s health. Medical Advances How the Brain Hides Memories New research from Northwestern Medicine reveals how suppressed memories are formed — and how to find them for mental health recovery. Medical Advances How Pneumonia Spreads From the Lungs The spread of pneumonia-causing bacteria from the lungs is a serious complication of a treatable infection. Research reveals how a toxin makes it happen. Medical Advances Understanding Chromosome 21 Recent research from Northwestern Medicine shows what a gene on chromosome 21 could reveal about a leukemia associated with Down syndrome. Medical Advances How Neighborhood May Affect Diabetes Research from Northwestern Medicine shows how neighborhood resources and access to healthy food may affect diabetes rates. Medical Advances A Natural Path to New Therapies To better treat mental health, Northwestern Medicine scientists are recreating compounds in plant species used by natural healers. Medical Advances What About White Matter? A new study from Northwestern Medicine explores the role of white matter in traumatic brain damage and recovery. Discover what the research reveals. Medical Advances When Marijuana and Memory React As states legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, a Northwestern Medicine study links chronic cannabis use in teens to memory loss. Medical Advances A Nicotine Patch for the Long Term Most smokers will relapse at least once when they try to quit. New research supports long-term nicotine patch treatment to increase quit rates. Medical Advances Can Sound Deepen Sleep? The key to a good night’s sleep could be the quality, and not necessarily quantity according to new research from Northwestern University. Medical Advances How a Diabetes Drug May Help Treat Cancer Scientists at Northwestern Medicine explore how a common anti-diabetic drug may prevent cancer progression. Medical Advances Friends With Fitness Social support is a powerful motivator in weight loss and a new study suggests it’s just as effective in online weight management communities. Medical Advances Deconstructing Coffee Studying coffee is difficult due to variables like metabolism, caffeine reaction and lifestyle factors. A new research plan plots to find better measures. Medical Advances 3D Printers Train Surgeons Outside the O.R. A breakthrough training simulation is taking the learning curve for pediatric heart surgeons away from real life. Medical Advances Gene Brings Breakthrough for Rare Tumor Northwestern Medicine research has led to a potential therapy for DIPG, an inoperable pediatric tumor without a cure. Medical Advances Transplant Success With T-Cell Technique A new study suggests controlled dysfunction may be the key to combating chronic organ transplant rejection. Wellness The Sounds That Soothe Instead of medication, pediatricians are turning to tunes to provide effective, personalized post-op pain relief. Discover how music makes a difference. Medical Advances Study Leads Way to Breakthrough Eye Drop Very little is known about glaucoma, but a new study from Northwestern Medicine is leading the way to breakthrough eye drops for blindness. Medical Advances How Numbers Can Predict Hypertension Hypertension can be a difficult condition to predict and prevent. But people with undiagnosed high blood pressure may find help from technology. Medical Advances Chicagoans Lack Sufficient Vitamin D A recent Northwestern Medicine study links Vitamin D deficiencies to three types of cancers, and Chicagoans may get too low of a dose. Medical Advances A Decade of Heart-Warming Moments For 10 years, the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute has provided heart care where the home is. Celebrate a decade of heartwarming care. Medical Advances Unlocking Arsenic for Cancer Treatment A specific arsenic treatment for a rare form of leukemia may represent the latest breakthrough in cancer. Medical Advances The Power of a Grasp With a new brain machine interface, Northwestern Medicine scientists are helping people with severe paralysis regain their grasp. Medical Advances Study Redefines Drinking and Gym Relationship A new report using smartphones and daily reporting is redefining the connection between physical activity and alcohol consumption. Medical Advances Mouse Model Sets Trap for ALS Dementia The first mouse model for ALS dementia will allow scientists to test and monitor treatment for the illness. Medical Advances Is Birth Weight Tied to Brain Power? A breakthrough study from Northwestern Medicine explores the interaction between school performance, birth weight and cognitive development. Medical Advances Can Natural Light Improve Health? Windows in the workplace can improve employees’ quality of life and sleep duration, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine.