Background: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is one of the most common genetic metabolic disorders and is associated with a high risk of premature coronary heart disease. Primary prevention directed at lifestyle changes, combined with preventive medical treatment, is the most important way to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in individuals with FH. Knowledge about the condition and adherence to drug treatment may facilitate reaching treatment goals.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe disease knowledge and adherence to treatment in patients with FH.
Subjects and methods: Seventy-four patients, more than 18 years of age, with FH were asked to participate. A questionnaire on disease knowledge about FH and adherence to drug treatment was sent to the patients. Response rate was 92% (n = 68). Drug treatment, laboratory results, blood pressure, and smoking were also documented.
Results: Most patients knew about cholesterol, prevention, and the reason for drug treatment but were less informed about the risk of genetic transmission and family history. No significant correlation was found between knowledge and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. A significant, negative correlation between adherence and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was found (r = -.354, P < .01).
Conclusions: Patients with FH had scant understanding about the risk of genetic transmission and family history. High adherence to drug prescription has significant correlation to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level.