Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Blood Donors

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Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Blood Donors

Carter BloodCare cares about the health of our donors

Carter BloodCareThat is why we have partnered the Family Heart Foundation to ensure donors have accurate, up-to-date information about heart health. Learn more about familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and access resources for you and your provider below, which you can also download. Contact the Family Heart Foundation’s Care Navigator to learn more or to be connected with a provider in your area.

F + H = FH

Family history of early cardiac events + High cholesterol

FH 101

What is Familial Hypercholesterolemia?

People with FH have a high amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) commonly called the “bad cholesterol.” This happens because a genetic mutation affects the way cholesterol is cleared by the body. As a result, cholesterol builds up in the bloodstream and the walls of the arteries.

Cholesterol buildup in the artery wall is called hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, and can lead to problems like heart attacks and strokes in young adults and even children.

You are not alone
If diagnosed with FH, we are here for you. You can learn more from our power Patient Stories about their experiences with FH.

Fern - Living with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)


FH Treatments

Thanks to decades of research, today we have several treatments to help those with FH get their LDL to safe levels.In addition to lifestyle modifications, patients with FH usually take cholesterol-lowering medications to manage their condition. The most common type of medication are statins, a class of drugs known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.

Statins block a key enzyme in the liver that is responsible for producing cholesterol. This leads to the liver sending a signal to clear cholesterol from the bloodstream. Statins have been around for more than 30 years, are generic, and have been proven to lower heart attacks and strokes.

While diet and exercise are an important part of any heart healthy life, lifestyle changes for those with FH are not enough.

Unlike high cholesterol that develops later in life due to age or lifestyle factors, high cholesterol levels in those with FH are present from birth. Treatment of this condition is a lifelong journey, requiring a combination of lifestyle and therapies to reduce high LDL (bad)-cholesterol. High cholesterol can be managed successfully despite the presence of a gene that raises cholesterol.

Taking medication regularly remains a crucial component of FH management to reduce the chance of a heart attack, or the need for stents or bypass surgery. If you already have cardiovascular disease, treatment can lower your chances of having another event or needing additional stents or bypass.

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Navigating Care
Navigating health care today can be frustrating and difficult.
The Family Heart Foundation can help you navigate your journey FH. Experts at the Care Navigation Center are ready to answer all your questions.