Learn About Cascade Screening and FH

In September, the Family Heart Foundation participated in the “New Strategies in Public Health Genomics” conference at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Experts and key stakeholders, including advocates, community leaders and clinicians, came together to discuss evidence-based genomic programs addressing three genetic disorders: Familial Hypercholesterolemia, hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and Lynch Syndrome. Read more about the meeting on the CDC’s blog.

Because knowing your family history plays such a crucial role in early treatment and diagnosis of these conditions, Cascade Genetic Screening was one of the standout strategies discussed. Not sure what that means? It’s a method for identifying people at risk for a genetic condition by tracing it through their family. Watch the video below for a great explanation!

At work and can’t watch? Here are some key takeaways: Genetic conditions affect multiple family members. Once one person is identified, it’s important to look at the rest of their family since they’re at greater risk. Encourage family members to get checked. Let them know you have a genetic condition; they may not have symptoms but could be pre-symptomatic (or not showing signs yet) Go beyond your immediate family to children, siblings, aunts and uncles, and so on.

What is FH? Button

Familial Hypercholesterolemia is a common but treatable genetic disease. By treating it early, we can prevent life-threatening events.

Share your thoughts in the comments.

It’s not very often that you really get an opportunity to make a difference. It’s my deal with life that since I’m here and I survived my heart attack… [I’d like to] help other people to …avoid having these early heart attacks or even dying prematurely. —Katherine Wilemon

Cascade Genetic Screening and Public Health Policy

Is There a Specific Test for FH? Learn now!

17 Responses to “Learn About Cascade Screening and FH”

  1. Paula PURTLE

    Would like to know about high (98)
    HDL. And high cholesterol LDL (176)
    With CRP. ( 0.3 )
    This result was 5 days ago and doctor is
    Putting me on Cholesterol reducing
    Medication. Do I really need them??
    I lost weight recently and am at ideal
    Heathy weight, moderately exercise, and
    Was adopted. ( very little family history).
    Would like this second opinion to take in consideration. Also have IBS and GERD,
    Under control, (no meds) age 62. No other known issues.

    • Dave

      Weight loss causes high cholesterol due to all the fat being burned off.
      Far too many doctors forget this!

      • vickey murrell


        • Jo Gulbranson

          I have recently lost 12 lbs in 3 weeks. My doctor tells me my cholesterol is at 177, but tells me nothing else. I have family hypercholesterlemia. I have taken statin drugs since I was in my 40ties. My cardiologist took me off statin drugs 10 mos. ago. MY health had gotten better and I could finally walk properly. The doctor I saw put me on Chestor. Is there another way to reduce hyper cholesterlemia?

    • sean pesano

      i just got my blood work results back today and my DR. told me my cholesterol is 590 and that’s just the bad alone. and my triglycerides is 1097 !!!! I’m 38 and my wife is having our first baby in June i am really scared i want to see my son grow up!! i found out that my dad has the same prob, it runs in my family so i dont know about diet im 6′.1″ and im 190 pounds i eat good it has been a long winter so not much exercise this winter but my opinion it is ginetic !!!!!!

  2. Gary

    5000 mg of Omega-3 (high quality such as ResQ 1250) and 200 mg of CoQ10 per day should lower your cholesteral in 30 to 60 days.

  3. Rod Rau

    I recently suffered a heart attack, cause, genetics. I can’t and don’t want to take the statin drugs so I need a natural way to control cholesterol and HDL, LDL ratio. My total cholesterol was 180, HDL was 42, LDL was 120. This was a week before my heart attack. I have been on a vegan diet for for 30+ years, and exercise regularly. I am not over weight. I tried taking the Red Yeast Rice but had to stop. It had the same effect as the statin drug, crippling back pain. I am taking 200 mg of CoQ10 per day. Do you have any other suggestions?

  4. Kim

    Red Yeast Rice has Lovastatin in it. That’s why you had the same effect as the statin drug.

  5. sallie

    i’m 74, in good health. exercise daily. could lose 10lbs but otherwise am fine. I have just had a side effect reaction to Zetia. joint pain etc. also had with Zocor, Crestor and Lipitor. don’t really know where to go next. my brother also “reacted” to Zocor but is fine on other meds. my doc is raising her eye brows. not sure she believes me.

  6. MC Fischer

    Hmmm… I have similar problems. High cholesterol that appears to be genetic because my very healthy lifestyle has no visible effect. Cannot take statins because my liver goes crazy. My US doctors appear not to believe me either and want me to take the drugs regardless. So, am taking red yeast rice which seems to be quite okay (since the pharmaceutical “cocktail” is absent, I suppose) and we’ll see if that has had any effect. WHY do doctors not believe us?? Do they think we are all liars??

    • Tina

      they may corroborate with drug companies that want to sell their statin drugs. I cannot take them either for the given reasons. I recently began taking cinnamon capsules, but after taking them for about a month they give me gas stomach pain. I also heard of Turmeric capsules that are supposed to help lower cholesterol. I am a 69 year old, active lady weigh 135 pounds, and also have a family history of high cholesterol.

  7. tom budkey

    I have the same problem with that, my doctor suggested using the crestor every third day this helped lower my cholesterol and reduced the side effects I was having when I took it daily.

  8. Leslie

    I’m new to this and just learning. My doctor wants me to take Lipitor but I want to try to lower my cholesterol on my own first.

  9. Marlene

    I began taking Lipitor after a heart attack 10 years ago. Recently experiencing memory blurps which is one of the side effects of the drug. Am wanting to quit using Lipitor or any statin drug and adjust my diet accordingly to low fat and cholesterol. Is this possible without risking another heart attack??

  10. Homozy whaaatttttt? | the dance we do

    […] treating physicians prefer to try oral medications as their first line of defense in cases of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. One powerful approach combines high level doses of statins with cholesterol absorption inhibitors. […]

  11. Shelby

    I am a 22 year old female. I lost weight about a year and a half ago (70lbs) for my wedding. I had not been going to the gym like I should but I was watching what I ate. I had 3 instances where I gained 10lbs in a few days. I was recently tested for hypothyroidism and it came back negative, however, I have extremely high cholesterol ( LDL 189) even though I do not eat fast food, greasy food, and I only ate meat once a day if that. My doctor prescribed me a statin. For 3 months now I have been extremely careful of what I have been eating and workout 5 days a week (I check my heart rate it is usually 170-180). I do not have any other health problems but I have not lost a single pound. I just really need a second opinion! Is there something else wrong with me? I am trying to figure out if I need a new doctor.

  12. Sherry

    I have been diagnosed as FH, and I am a 23-year-old female. My LDL was 283 and Total was 365. My doctor does not suggest me taking statin for now because I may have a baby in 2 years. I am wondering if I can take red yeast rice+CoQ10+fiber before my pregnancy so that I can somehow control my cholesterol level.


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