Reduction in Mortality in Subjects With Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia Associated With Advances in Lipid-Lowering Therapy
Background—Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in both low-density lipoprotein receptor alleles, which results in extremely elevated plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations and very early morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular disease.
Methods and Results—To evaluate the impact of advances in lipid-lowering (predominantly statin) therapy on cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality in a large cohort of patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, the records of 149 patients (81 females, 68 males) from 2 specialized lipid clinics in South Africa were evaluated retrospectively. Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia was diagnosed by confirmation of mutations in genes affecting low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or by clinical criteria. A Cox proportional hazard model with time-varying exposure was used to estimate the risk of death and major adverse cardiovascular events among statin-treated patients compared with statin-naive patients. The hazard ratio for benefit from lipid therapy, calculated with the Cox proportional hazards model for the end point of death, was 0.34 (95% confidence interval 0.14–0.86; P=0.02), and for the end point of major adverse cardiovascular events, it was 0.49 (95% confidence interval 0.22–1.07; P=0.07). This occurred despite a mean reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol of only 26.4% (from 15.9±3.9 to 11.7±3.4 mmol/L; P<0.0001) with lipid-lowering therapy.
Conclusions—Lipid-lowering therapy is associated with delayed cardiovascular events and prolonged survival in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.
- Received May 8, 2011.
- Accepted September 12, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.