611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
CBD Is the Rage, But More Science Needed on Safety, EffectivenessMany Parents Would Switch Doctors Over Vaccination Policy, Poll FindsPot Poisonings Among Kids, Teens Double After Medical Marijuana Law PassedNearly Half of U.S. Patients Keep Vital Secrets From Their DoctorsFDA Proposes Graphic Warning Labels on CigarettesMany Doctors Refusing Care of People Prescribed OpioidsAll U.S. Adults Should Be Screened for Illicit Drug Use, National Panel UrgesAmericans' Trust in Scientists Follows a Sharp Political DivideRaising Legal Smoking Age to 21 WorksPure CBD Won't Make You Fail a Drug Test, But…Health Tip: Donate Blood SafelyRoutine Screening for Pancreatic Cancer Not Warranted, Expert Panel SaysResearchers 'Spin' Clinical Trial Findings in Top Psych Journals: StudyMore 'Buyer Beware' Warnings for Unregulated Stem Cell ClinicsSome of Most Common, Deadly Cancers Get the Least Research MoneyTraveling Abroad? Make Sure Your Measles Shot Is Up to DateHey! That's the Wrong Knee, DoctorBlood Donations Needed: Red CrossKeep Unused Meds Out of the Hands of AddictsFew U.S. Universities Are Smoke-FreeNeed Emergency Air Lift to Hospital? It Could Cost You $40,000California Took on Anti-Vaxxers, and WonAnti-Vaccine Movement a 'Man-Made' Health Crisis, Scientists WarnAHA News: Even the Threat of Homelessness May Bring Higher Stroke RiskFDA Warns Two Kratom Marketers About False ClaimsExperts Want Doctors to Add Vaping to Youth Prevention PitchMany Health Care Workers With Flu, Colds Still Go to Work: StudyGlobal Efforts to Cut Smoking Show Mixed ResultsOne Simple Food Substitution Might Help Save the PlanetAHA News: 3 Simple Steps Could Save 94 Million Lives WorldwideRace Affects Life Expectancy in Major U.S. CitiesDrugstores Often Don't Have Opioid Antidote in Stock, Philly Study ShowsAntibiotics Pollute Rivers Worldwide: StudyAHA News: For LGBTQ Patients, Discrimination Can Become Barrier to Medical CareImmigrants Make Up 1 in 4 U.S. Health Care WorkersFDA Takes Hard Look at CBDPatients Who Read Doctors' Notes More Likely to Take Their MedsU.S. Measles Cases for 2019 Already Exceed All Annual Totals Since 1992: CDCBreathe Easier, New York City: Clean-Air Taxi Rules Are WorkingDoctor Burnout Costly for Patients, Health Care SystemMany 'Dehumanize' People with ObesityBlood Banks Could Help Screen for Hereditary High CholesterolRed Cross Needs Type O Blood to Ease ShortageLess Pain, More Car Crashes: Legalized Marijuana a Mixed BagPolitical Controversies Could Fuel Bullying of LGBT Youth: StudyCBD -- It's Everywhere, But Does It Work?Brief EMS Training Saves Lives After Brain InjuryU.S. Improves Emergency Readiness, but Gaps PersistSlowing Climate Change Could Cut Health Costs, Save MoneyDispensing Opioid Antidote Without a Prescription Might Save Lives
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Blood Banks Could Help Screen for Hereditary High Cholesterol

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 22nd 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More than 1 million Americans have a genetic condition that pushes their cholesterol to dangerously high levels, but many don't know it.

Now, researchers offer a possible way to get more people with so-called familial hypercholesterolemia into treatment for this potentially life-threatening problem.

"The blood donor system could be a portal to understand who has genetic cholesterol problems," said Dr. Amit Khera, principal investigator of a new study into the idea. He's director of the Preventive Cardiology Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Having the blood vessels bathed in cholesterol from birth can cause heart disease to start 10 to 15 years sooner than normal, Khera said.

"And you have a significantly higher chance of having a heart attack or stroke," he said. "But here's the beauty -- it's completely preventable. If you get treated early, you can lead a normal life."

While most people see an increase in cholesterol as they age, those with inherited familial hypercholesterolemia have high cholesterol early in life, Khera explained.

"For people with this condition, levels can run as high as 270," he said. A total cholesterol level under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered desirable.

Only an estimated 10% of people with familial hypercholesterolemia are diagnosed, Khera said, leaving 90% at risk for heart attacks and strokes.

In addition, their relatives have a 50-50 chance of having it, too. Identifying one patient with the disorder can lead to as many as 10 or more family members who also have it, Khera said.

But primary care doctors rarely test for the condition or take a family history of heart disease, he noted.

"People are not putting two and two together and realizing that it's not just high cholesterol but a genetic cholesterol disorder," Khera said. "If there's lots of people with heart disease early and the cholesterol is super high, this isn't garden-variety high cholesterol."

For the study, Khera and his colleagues reviewed the records of nearly 1.2 million people who gave blood at Carter BloodCare, in Dallas. Nearly 3,500 had cholesterol levels that might indicate familial hypercholesterolemia. They tended to be men and under age 30, the researchers found.

That number is similar to the percentage of people in the general population with the condition, Khera noted.

No significant difference was seen by race, though the condition was slightly more common among Asians, the findings showed.

As many as 1.2 million Americans have familial hypercholesterolemia. For children known to be at risk because of family history, testing starts at age 2, the researchers said. Once diagnosed, treatment includes diet and exercise, and statins in later childhood.

People whose total cholesterol is above 200 mg/dL should see a doctor, have a review of family history and get a diagnosis and treatment, Khera advised.

Targeting blood donors could be an effective way to identify undiagnosed familial hypercholesterolemia, he said.

Each year, nearly 7 million Americans donate blood. Of these, 32% are first-time donors, according to the American Association of Blood Banks.

Khera's team hopes to develop a way to follow up with people whose disorder is identified through blood donations, and connect them to treatment and family screening.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, said early detection and treatment can greatly reduce the risk of heart attack and premature death for people with the condition.

Unfortunately, most cases of familial hypercholesterolemia remain undiagnosed and undertreated, he said.

"These findings suggest that such a screening program of blood donors may serve as a novel approach to identify individuals with familial hypercholesterolemia," Fonarow said. "Consideration should be given to applying this approach nationwide."

The report was published online May 22 in JAMA Cardiology.

More information

To learn more about familial hypercholesterolemia, visit the American Heart Association.