Familial Hypercholesterolaemia

Research Project Title: Systematic discovery of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia in the South West of Western Australia: a comparison of four methods

A study of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) funded by the Lishman Health Foundation has resulted in the development of a model of care for GPs to use for patients who have, or may have, the inherited condition. The model of care outlines the most effective ways to identify and treat people with the condition in the primary care setting. It guides GPs in the diagnosis, referral and ongoing care of these patients and their family members, who may also have the condition, to help them reduce their risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The South West study conducted by Dr Andrew Kirke and his team using different FH screening approaches showed that detection of new cases using general practitioner and laboratory services in the community could be very successful. Three methods of case detection were tested: pathology laboratory database search, workplace health checks and general practice database search. People identified at risk by each of the three screening methods were offered detailed assessment for FH using the Dutch Lipid Clinic Network Criteria score (DLCNCS). Those found to have FH were treated and managed by their GPs.

The Foundation is currently planning a regional community awareness campaign, funded by the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and supported by the Rural Clinical School of WA, to increase awareness of FH and prompt individuals with high cholesterol, or a family history of high cholesterol, to consult with their GP to be tested for FH. The campaign will be launched in November 2018. GP information sessions were held in August 2018 to provide an accessible overview of FH and how it can be identified and managed in general practice.

The Cholesterol Question

Lead Researchers:

Dr Andrew Kirke
Ms Rita Barbour
Professor Gerald Watts
Professor Jon Emery