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A leading charity wants babies to be tested for high cholesterol within days of their birth to save them from a rare condition that can trigger fatal heart attacks.
Heart UK is urging Ministers to introduce blood tests to prevent thousands of needless deaths every year caused by familial hypercholesterolaemia, or FH.
Condition - Sees - Substances - Levels - Arteries
The inherited condition sees fatty substances rapidly reach life-threatening levels in the arteries and is thought to affect 260,000 Britons, including 60,000 under-16s.
But only one in ten of those with the illness is diagnosed, leaving thousands at risk of sudden, fatal attacks.
Ideal - Child - Days - Time - Test
‘The ideal would be to test every child when they’re about ten days old, at the same time as they receive another routine test,’ says Professor Liz Hughes, a heart disease specialist involved in the campaign.
Newborns are already given a ‘heel prick’ test at this time, which screens for a range of potentially serious disorders including cystic fibrosis and thyroid disease.
Heart - UK - Cholesterol - Test - Time
Heart UK wants the cholesterol test to be carried out at the same time, or else when children receive the MMR jab at 11 months.
Statins – drugs that lower cholesterol – may be given from as early as ten years old.
Test - John - Amanda - Wingett - Heartache
A diagnostic test may have saved John and Amanda Wingett the heartache of losing their daughter Rianna, 11, to the condition.
Rianna, from Essex, collapsed shortly after finishing a school cross-country run in November 2009. She died despite the frantic efforts of paramedics.
Post-mortem - Cholesterol - Levels - Times - Adult
A post-mortem later revealed catastrophically high cholesterol levels – four times the normal adult amount.
The schoolgirl, it was discovered, had inherited two copies of the FH faulty gene – one from each parent – making her body unable to effectively filter cholesterol from her bloodstream.
Parents - Faulty - Gene - Blood - Test
Neither of her parents knew they carried the faulty gene. Yet a simple blood test would have detected the condition, prompting life-saving...
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