On a Friday edition of the RNJ Morning Program, Morning Mike had an informative conversation with a doctor – and his patient – about cardiovascular disease. Dr. Seth Baum is the President of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology. He gave us an overview of how cholesterol levels affect the cardiovascular system. While many people can manage their cholesterol levels with diet, exercise, and some medications, there are others for whom these measures are not enough. Patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) have genetic mutations which make their liver incapable of metabolizing (or removing) excess cholesterol. FH is an inherited disorder that leads to aggressive and premature cardiovascular disease. Dr. Baum noted that a new type of cholesterol drugs, called “PCSK9 Inhibitors” have proven to be especially successful in treating FH, where other cholesterol medications have not. Dr. Baum’s patient, Mahendra Mahabir, shared his story of dealing with FH from a young age and how these new PCSK9 Inhibitors have helped. Unfortunately, restrictive practices by many health insurers have made it extremely difficult – if not impossible – for patients to get access to these drug treatments.
If you would like to know more, Dr. Baum suggested the website of the FH Foundation, at thefhfoundation.org, to learn more about the disease and treatments, and to get resources.