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What are the signs and symptoms? For many people with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a heart attack, stroke or dying suddenly and at a young age may be the first sign.

Other possible signs may include:

  • angina, or chest pain or discomfort due to cholesterol buildup in the heart’s arteries
  • peripheral vascular disease, which is when cholesterol builds up in arteries in the legs, which may result in pain upon walking that usually subsides when resting
  • bumps on your tendons (called xanthomas), around your eyes (called xanthelasma) or on the tops of your hands  
  • a white ring around the upper and lower portions of the cornea in the eye, especially before age 45
  • carotid artery disease, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels in the neck that carry blood from the heart to the brain

What Increases Your Risk?

Anyone can have FH, but it seems to be more common in French Canadians, Ashkenazi Jews, South Africans and Christian Lebanese.

  • Last Edited 03/31/2019