skip to Main Content

Closing the gap: Identification and management of familial hypercholesterolemia in an integrated healthcare delivery system

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder that causes markedly elevated risk for early onset coronary artery disease. Despite availability of effective therapy, only 5-10% of affected individuals worldwide are diagnosed. To develop and evaluate a novel approach for identifying and managing patients with FH in a large integrated health system with a diverse patient population, using inexpensive methods. Using Make Early Diagnosis/Prevent Early Death (MEDPED) criteria, we created a method for identifying patients at high risk for FH within the Kaiser Permanente Northern California electronic medical record. This led to a pragmatic workflow for contacting patients, establishing a diagnosis in a dedicated FH clinic, and initiating management. We prospectively collected data on the first 100 patients to assess implementation effectiveness. Ninety-three (93.0%, 95%CI: 86.1%-97.1%) of the first 100 evaluated patients were diagnosed with FH (median age = 38 years) of whom only 5% were previously recognized; 48% were taking no lipid-lowering therapy, and 7% had acute coronary symptoms. 82 underwent successful genetic testing of whom 55 (67.1%; 95%CI: 55.8%-77.1%) had a pathogenic mutation. Following clinic evaluation, 83 of 85 (97.6%) medication-eligible patients were prescribed combination lipid-lowering therapy. 20 family members in the healthcare system were diagnosed with FH through cascade testing. This novel approach was effective for identifying and managing patients with undiagnosed FH. Care gaps in providing appropriate lipid-lowering therapy were successfully addressed. Further development and dissemination of integrated approaches to FH care are warranted.

Authors: Birnbaum, Richard A; Horton, Brandon H; Gidding, Samuel S; Brenman, Leslie Manace; Macapinlac, Brian A; Avins, Andrew L

J Clin Lipidol. 2021 Mar-Apr;15(2):347-357. Epub 2021-02-02.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top