Err on the Side of Caution When It Comes to This Familial Hypercholesterolemia Treatment

According to some Finnish researchers, children with heterozygous familia hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) should use statins as a treatment with caution. Though they have proven to be able to lower lipid levels in HeFH patients, it is still important to be careful about it.

Led by researcher Vuorio, the team carried out an analysis of nine randomized placebo-controlled trials, receiving follow up anytime between six weeks to two years.

When results came, the news was pretty good. Statins were shown to reduce the average low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration at every time checkpoints, but some concentrations did not see significant differences in the placebo versus the treated groups.

In addition, the risks of clinical adverse effects, such as myopathy, were similar and low in both the placebo and treated groups.

Often times, diagnosis of HeFH is measured by either high total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels or by DNA-based analysis. Sometimes, both are used to diagnose the condition.

It’s widely accepted and encouraged that maintaining a healthy diet is paramount in treating HeFH, but researchers have also recently found that lipid-lowering medicines in addition to diet result in significant treatment improvement.
This being said, authors in the study have strong recommendations for precaution while using statins as treatment. They caution that while statin treatment in children may appear safe for short-term use, they do not yet know about long-term effects.
Because of this, if children are being administered statin treatment, they should be diligently monitored by their attending pediatricians. Once 18, their care should be transferred over to a specialist: an adult lipidologist.
In the future, longer-term studies are needed to analyze the full effects of statin treatment in children with HeFH. But until then, like with anything, moderation and caution is key.
To learn more about this research, click here.

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