While I was in South Africa, at the Professor Tim Noakes hearing, Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) came up both home and away. Back in the UK, a study was published by the Queen Mary University of London arguing that public health agencies should routinely test the cholesterol levels of infants (aged one to two years) alongside the administration of childhood vaccinations. The university’s article on the paper can be seen here. The journal paper can be seen here – not on open view, but I’ve got the full PDF.
At the Noakes hearing, FH was raised by the prosecution as an argument as to why cholesterol is harmful. The argument goes – people with FH have higher heart disease and high cholesterol and therefore high cholesterol causes heart disease. (At the risk of closing the debate before having it, Dr Malcolm Kendrick dismisses this logic as follows: People who smoke have higher lung cancer and yellow fingers. Do yellow fingers cause lung cancer?!)
Let’s unpack the very interesting condition that is Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)…
We need a basic lesson in lipoproteins to understand Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH).