FH Families Are in Your Practice

FH Is 5 Times as Common as Cystic Fibrosis

FH occurs in 1 in 500 people, making it among the most common of serious genetic disorders. As the graph shows, FH is 4 times as common as sickle cell anemia and 5 times as common as cystic fibrosis.1,12,13,18,19,20

Frequency of Genetic Disorders Compared

Familial Hypercholesterolemia

FH Frequency Increases up to 5 Times in Founder Populations

FH can be present in any population and in any country, but in certain populations the rate of FH can be 2 to 5 times that of the general population. In some groups, including French Canadians, Christian Lebanese, and South African Afrikaners and Ashkenazi Jews, the incidence may be higher. This increased risk is due to the founder effect, in which certain populations that have been isolated for a period of time demonstrate an increased rate of genetic disorders.8

Prevalence of Heterozygous FH Across Populations

FH Frequency Increases in Founder Groups

In FH Families, Frequency Is 1 in 2

Every generation in a family can inherit the genetic mutations that cause FH. Familial hypercholesterolemia is an autosomal dominant disorder, so all first-degree relatives of FH patients have a 50% probability of also having FH. If you identify one patient with familial hypercholesterolemia, it’s important to screen other family members, including parents, siblings, and children.1,4