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Atherosclerosis. 2002 Jul;163(1):193-7.

Family history of cardiovascular events and endothelial dysfunction in children with familial hypercholesterolemia.

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Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, G1-146, Meibergdreef 9, P.O. Box 22660, 1100 DD, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), the propensity towards atherosclerosis may vary considerably. In the general population, a positive family history is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events. Since endothelial dysfunction is predictive for future cardiovascular events, we evaluated whether FH-children with a positive family history of premature cardiovascular disease have more pronounced endothelial dysfunction compared to children with a negative family history.


50 FH children, 10-18 years, participated in this study. Thirty-one children had a positive family history for cardiovascular events (fh(+)) and 19 children had no events in the family (fh(-)). Nineteen matched siblings participated as controls. Endothelial function was assessed by testing the flow mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery.


baseline characteristics were comparable for fh(+), fh(-) and controls. Lipid levels were significantly higher in FH children. In FH, FMD was impaired compared to controls (11.7+/-4.4 vs. 15.6+/-6.8%, P<0.03). In addition, FMD was significantly lower in fh(+) compared to fh(-) (10.7+/-9.9 vs. 13.3+/-4.6%, P<0.05).


In FH-children, endothelial function is impaired compared to matched controls. This impairment is most pronounced in FH children with a positive family history of premature cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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