Certain individuals have an extremely significant genetic predisposition (aka familial hypercholesterolemia1) to elevated cholesterol levels, particularly LDL cholesterol. These individuals are either heterozygous (1 of 2 genes) or homozygous (2 of 2 genes) for certain genes that cause extremely high cholesterol.
These individuals may have LDL cholesterol levels ranging into the 1000’s. They are very difficult to treat and may not respond effectively to even the strongest medications. They require special cholesterol management therapies to decrease their LDL levels or risk dying from complications of cardiovascular disease at a very young age. Individuals with a strong family history of cardiovascular disease and/or elevated cholesterol levels should be screened by their primary care physician at an early age.