FH is short for Familial Hypercholesterolemia. It is an inherited disorder that leads to aggressive and premature cardiovascular disease. For individuals with FH, diet and lifestyle are not the cause, although they can still make a difference. The vast majority of the cholesterol circulating in a person’s body is produced by the liver. Cholesterol is a necessary component in the structure and function of human cells. Individuals with FH are unable to recycle this natural supply of cholesterol that their bodies are constantly producing. Therefore, the cholesterol levels of an individual with FH are exceedingly high.
Over time the elevated blood cholesterol can lead to blockages in the arteries of the heart and/or brain. There are two forms of FH. If you have inherited this genetic mutation from one parent, then you will have Heterozygous FH (HeFH).