Coronavirus and FH

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. But what does this mean for those living with cholesterol or lipid conditions?

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Here you can find out about coronavirus if you have familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). We will build on this information as more evidence becomes available. In the meantime, feel free to email our helpline if you have questions or concerns. 

Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) and coronavirus

If you have FH and have also been diagnosed with heart disease you are classed as ‘high risk’ 

This means you should closely follow the social distancing guidelines set out by the Government. This is because the risk of severe illness associated with the virus is higher for you than for the general population.

We are also aware that most GP services, some hospitals and clinics, and some specialist FH services are unable to operate as normal in order to help support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. There may, therefore, be delays and cancellations for routine appointments.

If you have FH but have not been diagnosed with heart disease you may also be at high risk if:

  • you are a man and you were diagnosed and first treated for FH after the age of 50
  • you are a woman and you were diagnosed and first treated for FH after the age of 60
  • you have FH with other risk factors such as high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease or diabetes
  • you have FH with severely increased Lipoprotein (a) levels (greater than 500mg/L or 100nmol/L)

The likelihood of having underlying heart disease if you are in one of  these groups is approximately 50% (although this may be lower if you have been having treatment for a long time and it's working well).

If you fall into one of these categories you should consider yourself as a high risk person and follow the social distancing guidelines while continuing to take all your prescribed medication.

If you are at high risk

Follow the government’s social distancing measures very closely, particularly now certain restrictions have been eased.

Currently the Government advice is for people to stay at home as much as possible and work from home if you can, but this is set to change in the near future. They will provide an update on August 1st for employers. They have already provided COVID-19 Secure guidance for employers to ensure safe working and social distancing measures are in place for those returning to the work environment. View the guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus – under work and financial support. 

If you have any concerns about returning to work please contact your GP or specialist for further advice.

See the Government's advice on easing restrictions and what you can and can't do.

See the advice