Familial combined hyperlipidemia, which people may also call mixed hyperlipidemia, is a genetic condition that can be passed from parents to children.
A person with this disorder has higher than average levels of lipids in their body. Lipids include cholesterol and fats called triglycerides, which store energy.
People with familial combined hyperlipidemia have a higher risk of developing plaque in their arteries. A buildup of plaque can lead to cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke.
This article discusses mixed hyperlipidemia in more detail, including causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
Hyperlipidemia is the term for a range of disorders that cause high lipid levels.
Primary hyperlipidemia refers to the specific disorder that can pass from parents to children. Mixed hyperlipidemia is a type of primary hyperlipidemia.
Lipids are substances that do not dissolve in water but are soluble in organic solvents. Cholesterol and triglycerides are two of the types of lipids that people most often discuss when it comes to cardiovascular health.
High levels of these two lipids
The exact cause of Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia is unknown, as scientists have yet to identify the causative gene.
Mixed hyperlipidemia is an inherited disease. There is no guarantee that the condition will occur simply because a person’s parents have the disorder. However, if one parent has mixed hyperlipidemia, a child has a 50% chance of developing the disease themselves.
When both parents have the disorder, a child may receive what some call a “double dose.” When this happens, they have a higher risk of developing coronary problems earlier in life.
Doctors may suspect mixed hyperlipidemia when blood tests show higher than normal cholesterol levels. They will likely ask a person about their medical and family history. If their family history reveals the presence of the disorder in at least one relative, the person probably has mixed hyperlipidemia.
Before the blood draw, a person will need to avoid eating for 9 to 12 hours.
The diagnosis of mixed hyperlipidemia in children is complex due to
There is currently no cure for mixed hyperlipidemia. Instead, treatment is ongoing and aimed to help prevent or reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Several factors can influence the physician’s choice of therapeutic approach. They
- a person’s age at diagnosis
- the presence of symptoms or other health problems
- the severity of the increase in lipid levels
In some cases, a doctor may recommend lifestyle and habit changes as first-line treatment. Lifestyle changes to manage cholesterol levels
- stop smoking
- eating a diet focused on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins
- maintain a moderate weight
- exercise regularly
If these changes are not effective enough, a doctor may prescribe medications to help lower lipid levels. The
- statins, although they are not safe for people with liver problems
- ezetimibe (Zetia), which blocks cholesterol absorption
- PCSK9 inhibitors
- bile acid sequestrants
- adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase (ACL) inhibitors
- omega-3 fatty acid ethyl esters
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not consider mixed hyperlipidemia a disability. However, it can potentially coexist with or lead to conditions that may qualify. These conditions include:
A person should speak with a doctor if they start to develop symptoms or problems that they cannot explain. The doctor can help determine what may be causing the problems.
A person should not ignore certain symptoms. Anyone who suspects they are having a heart attack or stroke should call 911 or seek emergency medical help.
Symptoms of a Stroke
- slurred speech
- numbness in the leg, arm, or face, usually on one side of the body
- vision problems in one eye
- a severe headache with no known cause
- movement or coordination problems
Symptoms of a heart attack
A range of factors can affect the outlook for people with hyperlipidemia. These include:
- the age of the person
- how well they stick to their treatment plan
- how well their cholesterol levels are responding to treatment
Treatment will likely have the best chance of success if a person takes steps to ensure that they are following the plan as closely as possible. The person can also maximize their chances of getting a good result by:
- have a nutritious and well-balanced diet
- exercise regularly
- reach or maintain a moderate weight
- stop smoking, if applicable
Making these changes can help a person reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and live a longer, healthier life.
Mixed hyperlipidemia is a congenital condition in which a person has naturally higher levels of cholesterol and fat in their body. Without proper treatment, this can increase the risk of developing complications, such as cardiovascular disease.
Treatment often involves a combination of lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, to help lower cholesterol levels. In some cases, the use of medication may be necessary.