Long-term cancer risk in heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia relatives: a 25-year cohort study

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Background: Heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) due to low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) mutations predisposes patients to highly elevated levels of cholesterol, and patients are at increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events and other morbidities. Whether the LDLR mutation and high cholesterol levels affect the risk of cancer remains unknown. The purpose of the present study was to assess the long-term cancer risk in HeFH relatives. Methods: Study participants were identified by cascade screening during 1992–1994. A comparison cohort was matched 10:1 to the relatives from the Danish general population based on birth year, gender and address. All participants were followed until a cancer diagnosis, migration, death, or end of follow-up as of December 31, 2019. The primary endpoint was any incident cancer diagnosis. Results: In total, we included 221 relatives with a median age of 37 years (interquartile range: 27–53 years). A total of 117 (53%) of the relatives carried a LDLR gene mutation. The crude hazard ratio of our primary endpoint did not reveal any differences in cancer incidence in mutation-carrying relatives compared with the general population cohort (1.18; 95% CI, 0.81–1.71). Nonmutation-carrying relatives however had a lower cancer incidence than the general population (0.45: 95% CI, 0.26–0.80). Thus, the risk among mutation-carrying HeFH relatives compared with nonmutation-carrying HeFH relatives was increased (HR: 2.39; 95% CI, 1.24–4.61). Conclusion: In Denmark, LDLR mutation-carrying HeFH relatives did not have a different cancer risk than the general population. In contrast, nonmutation-carrying relatives had a lower risk of cancer.

TidsskriftLipids in Health and Disease
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2022


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