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Familial Lipid Disorders

Overview

A familial lipid disorder is a condition that runs in families. It causes very high levels of cholesterol. This condition can cause a person to get coronary artery disease while still young.

Familial lipid disorders are not common. Your doctor may look at cholesterol levels and family history to check if you or your child might have a disorder. For example, your doctor may check for:

  • Very high cholesterol levels. For example, LDL cholesterol might be 160 mg/dL or more for a child or 190 mg/dL or more for an adult.
  • A family history of high cholesterol.
  • A family history of early coronary artery disease.
  • Certain results from a physical exam. These results include xanthomas, a skin condition in which small bumps of fat appear under the skin.

Types of familial lipid disorders

There are different types of familial lipid disorders. They include:

Familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL).
  • High total cholesterol
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • High apolipoprotein B
Familial defective apolipoprotein B-100.
  • High LDL cholesterol
Familial dysbetalipoproteinemia (type 3 hyperlipoproteinemia).
  • High total cholesterol and high triglyceride levels
Familial hypercholesterolemia.
  • High LDL cholesterol

Credits

Current as of: January 10, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

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