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Early Treatment May Delay Atherosclerosis in Familial Hypercholesterolemia

0 2 years ago

Patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) who start lipid-lowering treatment earlier in life may reduce their cardiovascular risk, compared with those who don’t begin treatment early, according to results of a recent meta-analysis.

They showed a difference in the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) between patients with and without FH that increased with age, but there was also a difference in IMT seen among patients with FH who started treatment early, compared with untreated patients with FH, Kika van Bergen en Henegouwen, of the departments of pediatrics and epidemiology and data science at Amsterdam University Medical Center, and colleagues wrote in their report, published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.

“The fact that the difference in IMT increases with age between FH patients and unaffected controls, and is more pronounced in studies with untreated FH patients than in studies with treated patients, suggests that starting treatment already at a young age in patients with FH is preferred,” the researchers wrote. “However, despite treatment, IMT in treated FH patients is still thicker in comparison to subjects without FH.”

The researchers identified 42 studies with among patients with FH and healthy control groups across the MEDLINE, EMBASE and Trials.gov databases up to a cutoff date of April 2020, with 39 studies specifically examining carotid IMT, 2 studies evaluating carotid and femoral IMT, and 1 study evaluating femoral IMT alone. Overall, the researchers examined IMT measurements in 3796 patients with FH and 2363 control group participants.


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