High Cholesterol: Are Your Genes To Be Blamed

High cholesterol can even affect the very young, not due to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, but as a result of genetic reasons. Genetic disorders, also called inherited disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia cause serious high cholesterol that can be very hard to control. If you have

high cholesterol – Are your genes to be blamed?

Let's have a look at how genes have an impact on inheriting high cholesterol. 

High Cholesterol – The Genetic Effect  

No matter how careful you are in the diet and lifestyle activities, the abnormalities in the genetic make-up develop high cholesterol levels in an individual.

Familial hypercholesterolemia

  • This is the most common type of inherited disorder that accounts for high cholesterol buildup.
  • Individuals with this genetic disorder face abnormal cholesterol levels.
  • It is estimated that 1 out of 500 individuals develop hypercholesterolemia and are at risk of plaque formation and coronary artery disease that would lead to heart attacks.
  • This condition is diagnosed through blood cholesterol tests, studying family history, stress test and genetic tests.
  • Statin medications and lifestyle changes are the best treatment methods for this disorder.

Familial hyperlipidemia

  • This is another inherited disorder in which there is high level of fat buildup in the blood along with cholesterol.
  • It causes both high cholesterol as well as high triglycerides that are the major risk factors for heart disorders.
  • It is estimated that around 13 million individuals in the United States develop coronary heart disease and 20% among these below the age 60 develop hyperlipidemia.
  • As this inherited disorder becomes an issue in the early teen years itself, it can cause heart attacks in people at their early young age.
  • It is common in individuals with a family history of high cholesterol.
  • This condition is diagnosed through blood tests and genetic tests that measure both cholesterol as well as triglyceride levels.
  • Medications such as statins, fibrates and bile acid sequestrants along with lifestyle changes help remove the high cholesterol levels from the body.

Going through these two genetic disorders we can conclude that genes are also a major cause for high cholesterol levels.

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