BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Familial hypercholesterolaemia has not been previously described in the Vietnamese population. We aimed to describe the features of patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (hoFH) in Vietnam and the outcomes of screening family members using genetic and cholesterol testing.
METHODS: Mutation testing by massively parallel sequencing for genes causative of FH was undertaken in five index cases presenting to a single cardiac center with a presumptive diagnosis of hoFH. Cascade testing of all available family members was subsequently undertaken. The number of new cases of FH detected and commenced on lipid-lowering treatment was evaluated.
RESULTS: All five index cases had true homozygous mutations in the LDL receptor gene (LDLR). Cascade screening was undertaken in four families. 107 relatives were screened and FH was identified in 56 relatives (52%), including 3 new cases of hoFH. Only 5 FH relatives (9%) were subsequently treated owing to the adverse perceptions and comparative high cost of drug treatment, and lack of awareness of FH among patients and local doctors.
CONCLUSIONS: HoFH due to LDLR mutations is a severe disorder in Vietnam that needs early detection and treatment with LDL-cholesterol lowering drugs. Cascade testing of families allows effective detection of new cases of FH that may also benefit from early treatment. However, convincing patients to commence statin treatment is a challenge. Extended education and awareness programs and treatment subsidies are imperative to improve the care of patients and families suffering from FH in Vietnam.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2018|