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Does lifestyle contribute to disease severity in patients with inherited lipid disorders?

Arsenault, Benoit J.; Perrot, Nicolas; Couture, Patrick

Current Opinion in Lipidology: April 2017 - Volume 28 - Issue 2 - p 177–185
doi: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000387

Purpose of review Patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, familial combined hyperlipidemia and hyperlipoprotein(a) are at high cardiovascular risk. Increasing evidence suggest that lifestyle-related risk factors such as physical inactivity, and poor diet quality could influence cardiovascular risk in these patients. Our objective is to review the evidence that supports the role of lifestyle-related factors in the prediction of cardiovascular risk in patients with inherited lipid disorders.

Recent findings Recent studies have shown that smoking, a poor diet quality, physical inactivity, fitness levels, abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes were associated with the presence of atherosclerosis and long-term cardiovascular outcomes in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia. Recent evidence also suggest that managing other cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol levels, obesity, glycemic control, blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, and diet quality could reduce long-term cardiovascular risk associated with hyperlipoprotein(a). Whether targeting these risk factors could ultimately decrease cardiovascular risk in these patients remains unknown.

Summary Although reducing the number of atherogenic apolipoprotein-B containing particle with lipid-lowering therapy represents the cornerstone of treatment of patients with inherited lipid disorders, lifestyle-related risk factors such as physical inactivity and poor diet quality need to be targeted for the optimal management of these high-risk patients.

aCentre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec

bDepartment of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval

cInstitute of Nutrition and Functional Foods, Université Laval

dLipid Research Center, CHU de Québec-Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Correspondence to Dr Benoit J. Arsenault, PhD, Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, Y-2110, Pavillon Marguerite D’Youville, 2725 chemin Ste-Foy, Québec, QC G1V 4G5, Canada. Tel: +1 418-656-8711 x3498; e-mail:

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