The Treatment of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) must begin in ChildhoodName : Dr. Albert Wiegman
Affliation : Chief Of Academic Medical Center And Pediatrician
University : University Of Amsterdam
Country : Netherland
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a common genetic disorder that causes elevated LDL-cholesterol levels from birth. The resulting accelerated atherosclerosis predisposes individuals with FH to premature coronary heart disease. Studies have demonstrated that LDL-cholesterol has both a causal and cumulative effect on the risk of coronary heart disease, supporting clinical recommendations that children with FH commence pharmacological treatment from age 8-10 years. Unfortunately, the majority of children with FH globally remains undiagnosed, with only small numbers identified by an opportunistic, or cascade screening approach in affected families. Screening of children for FH has been proposed and would enable an earlier diagnosis and commencement of treatment. Combining screening of children with cascade testing would benefit adult members of the child’s family who have a more immediate risk of a coronary event. Combining screening of children with cascade testing approaches is likely to have the greatest benefit and has the potential to rapidly change the natural history of this common life threatening disorder.
Dr. Albert Wiegman was registered as a pediatrician in March 1991 and became member of the pediatric staff at the Academic Medical Center from that moment on. His specialization in pediatric cardiology was completed in January 1993. The pediatric-lipid outpatient department came under his care from October 1993 on. In the same year, he started his research into the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia in children in close co-operation with the research team of Prof. John J.P. Kastelein, head of the department of vascular medicine. In July 1st 2003, he brought the research to completion in his thesis: ‘Pediatric implications of heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia’.