Familial defective apolipoprotein B-100 is a genetic disorder of apolipoprotein B-100 that causes moderate to severe hypercholesterolemia. A single amino acid mutation in apolipoprotein B diminishes the ability of low density lipoproteins to bind to the low density lipoprotein receptor. Low density lipoproteins accumulate in the plasma because their efficient receptor-mediated catabolism is disrupted. This mutation has been identified in the United States, Canada, and Europe and is estimated to occur at a frequency of approximately 1/500 in these populations. Thus, it appears that this newly described disorder may be a significant genetic cause of hypercholesterolemia in Western societies.