Current status of familial hypercholesterolemia in Chinese populations

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Purpose of reviewHeterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia often went unrecognized in China when population cholesterol levels were low, but rapid economic development has changed the situation. This review will discuss the current position of awareness, diagnosis, and management of familial hypercholesterolemia in Chinese populations.Recent findingsThe phenotype of familial hypercholesterolemia in China and other Chinese populations has become similar to that in Western countries, although it may still be somewhat less severe. The prevalence in Chinese populations is also similar to that in other countries and it has been found in up to 7% of Chinese patients with premature coronary heart disease. Most of the mutations are in the low-density lipoprotein receptor gene but the pattern of mutations differs from that in Whites. Chinese patients may be more responsive to statins than Whites but patients with familial hypercholesterolemia are often undertreated.SummaryIncreasing population cholesterol levels have changed the phenotype of familial hypercholesterolemia in China and Chinese patients now resemble those in Western countries. International initiatives are facilitating increased awareness and identification of cases and more effective management of the condition.

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