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Alert on hazards of family hypercolesterolemia in mexico

Arturo Padilla


It is estimated that Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HF) affects 1 in 250 people in the general population, which means that there are more than 500 thousand mexicans suffering from this silent and fulminating condition.

This was explained by Dr. Alejandra Vázquez Cárdenas, Research Professor of the Department of Genetics at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG), who called to be aware of the severity of the disease on September 24 in which the International Day of the Hypercholesterolemia Familiar is remembered.

Dr. Cárdenas explained in basic terms the genetic disease: patients are born without receptors that catch the "bad" cholesterol, by not having them, they do not direct it to the liver, where fats are metabolized. In the absence of such receptors and not entering the liver, it accumulates in the arteries. In addition to this, the cells not registering, generate their own. Thus the patient suffers from "excess production".

"Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Mexico and throughout the world. According to INEGI data, in Mexico there are more than 200 thousand strokes per year, which means that one occurs every two to three minutes. High blood cholesterol levels are one of the main risk factors that are directly related to cardiovascular diseases, " she added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has cataloged it as a global public health problem because of its high frequency and the seriousness of its consequences, since it reduces life expectancy for up to 30 years; in such a way that its diagnosis and treatment must be obligatory.

Dr. Cárdenas is part of the HF Iberoamerican Network; This network is made up of (Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay and Cuba) who have developed a "Call to Action" to combat HF ​​and influence health policies at the national, regional and global level.

The Network established that the detection and treatment of FH should be a priority in the political agenda of the health authorities, and for this it is necessary to promote awareness and awareness campaigns aimed at the general population, as well as health professionals to promote early detection and prevent cardiovascular disease in FH.

"The Development of Clinical Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of FH, to homogenize diagnostic and treatment criteria. Collaboration with health professionals, scientific societies, and educational institutions to develop training programs, especially aimed at primary care and the general population, "said the expert.

She added that her diagnosis is easy and is based on an increase in cholesterol and review of family history. The diagnosis can be made from birth, however, experts recommend to do it as early as two years of age.

"There is effective treatment to attack this disease, being more effective when it starts at an early age. The drugs of choice are powerful to high statins. Doses such as atorvastatin or rosuvastatin are available to everyone, because they are within the basic framework of the main public health institutions in the country, " she added.

In addition to being a member of the Ibero-American Family Hypercholesterolemia Network (, Dr. Vázquez Cárdenas is a founding member of the Mexican Association of Family Hypercholesterolemia A.C. directed by the same patients that suffer from this disease, as well as in conjunction with other institutions in the country from the Mexican Registry of HF (

As part of the commitment to society and health, the UAG joins this awareness-raising event addressed to the community, teaching staff and students of the house of studies on the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment for FH.

"In the end we can contribute to the fulfillment of the objective established in 2012, by all the member countries of the WHO, the goal 25 x 25, that is to say achieve the reduction of 25% of premature mortality for the year 2025 in Cardiovascular diseases, on the occasion of the International Day of Hypercholesterolemia, which is next September 24, " she concluded.

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