asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to publicise to the medical profession the need to screen and identify those at risk from coronary heart disease due to an inherited condition known as familial hypercholesterolaemia.
Familial hypercholesterolaemia is the commonest inherited hyperlipidaemia (surplus of fatty substances in the blood). People suffering from this condition show an increased risk of heart attack and sometimes strokes, at an early age. They often also show certain distinctive clinical signs and a family history of the condition. It is for the clinicians responsible for the care of such patients to initiate whatever tests they consider appropriate but there is no professional or scientific consensus on the need for general population screening at this time.In view of recent publications in the medical press and of the excellent work being carried out by the voluntary organisations in this field it is not considered necessary to undertake further publicity.