The Royal Free London (RFL) have teamed up with Leyton Orient Football Club to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) among fans and the trust’s BTEC sports students.
On Tuesday, nurses and doctors from the RFL held a series of workshops at Leyton Orient Football Club to over 100 BTEC sports students.
Workshops throughout the day included:
FH - Silent Killer – cholesterol and how it causes heart attack
Fizz to Fat – how what you eats affects your cholesterol – lead by HEART UK dietician
Know your family tree – is it inherited?
Know your numbers – point of care cholesterol testing for those with a positive family history of premature cardiovascular disease.
RFL will also be present pre-match tomorrow to give advice.
FH is an inherited form of high cholesterol. It is caused by a defect in a gene which controls the way cholesterol is managed in the body. There are thought to be 120,000 people in the UK with FH, however only 20,000 cases have been diagnosed, pointing to at least 100,000 cases of undiagnosed FH in the UK.
Dr Devaki Nair, consultant and honorary senior lecturer in clinical biochemistry at the RFL, said: “Our two clinical nurse specialists, as part of a British Heart Foundation project, worked in primary care in North East and Central London to identify people with FH.”
“From searching 49 975 records they found 22 people who were tested and confirmed to carry the genetic mutation for FH. As it is an inherited disease it is important that all family members are tested too, from the 22 confirmed there are 73 potential relatives who could now have an earlier diagnosis of FH”.
“We’re excited to be working with students and fans at Leyton Orient, as this presents us with the opportunity to identify FH in the younger population who are currently missing out (routine cholesterol testing does not happen until NHS health checks at 40years, 18-40 year olds make up 40% of London population). Testing this age group could save the NHS a lot of money, as detecting FH earlier will make it easier to prevent heart attacks.”
In the UK 138 people under the age of 35 died from coronary heart disease in 2010. Whilst the statistics for those over the age of 35 have improved since 2010 the number of deaths under 35 has remained fairly static. (BHF – Cardiovascular disease statistics 2015).