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J Pediatr. 2012 Jul;161(1):99-103. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.12.037. Epub 2012 Jan 28.

Follow-up of children diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia in a national genetic screening program.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the follow-up of children diagnosed as having familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) in the nationwide DNA-based cascade screening program (the Netherlands).

STUDY DESIGN:

Questionnaires covering topics such as demographics, family history, physician consultation, and treatment were sent to parents of patients with FH (age 0-18 years), 18 months after diagnosis.

RESULTS:

We retrieved 207 questionnaires of patients aged 10.9 ± 4.2 years (mean ± SD) at diagnosis; 48% were boys, and the mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level at diagnosis was 167 ± 51 mg/dL. Of these patients, 164 (79%) consulted a physician: a general practitioner (35%), lipid-clinic specialist (27%), pediatrician (21%), internist (11%), or another physician (6%). LDL-C level at diagnosis and a positive family history for cardiovascular disease were independent predictors for physician consultation. Of the patients who visited a physician, 62% reported to have received lifestyle advice, and 43 (26%) were prescribed statin treatment. Independent predictors for medication use were age, LDL-C level, and educational level of parents.

CONCLUSION:

The follow-up of children with FH after diagnosis established through cascade screening is inadequate. Better education of patients, parents, and physicians, with a structured follow-up after screening, should improve control of LDL-C levels and hence cardiovascular risk in children with FH.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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