ARLINGTON, Va., June 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The FH Foundation, a patient-centered nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education, and advocacy for people born with the genetic disorder Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), has announced their annual congressional visits and advocate meeting in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness and advocate for diagnosis and treatment for those living with FH. During the meeting, the FH Foundation will also designate the 2017 class of FH Advocates for Awareness, who will be trained at an intensive advocacy workshop.
"The advocates' efforts will help others with FH live longer, healthier lives," said Cat Davis Ahmed, Director of Policy and Outreach for the FH Foundation. "We believe we can change the future for families devastated by a history of early heart attacks and sudden death for generations. By sharing stories, expertise, and real world data, the FH Foundation demonstrates the opportunity we have to prevent heart disease – our nation's number one killer – with early diagnosis of FH and the treatments available."
Volunteers living with FH will learn from medical experts about the latest in FH diagnosis and care and prepare to share their own stories of the impact FH has had on their families, on Capitol Hill and then back in their own communities. FH Foundation Advocates represent over 25 states. They share their stories at medical conferences, at Grand Rounds, health fairs, with policy makers, and in local and national media in an effort to make sure more people with FH are diagnosed and have the opportunity to prevent heart disease before it takes hold.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited genetic disorder that causes very high cholesterol from birth, regardless of diet or lifestyle. Lifelong exposure to very high cholesterol can lead to early and aggressive heart disease. FH is one of the most common life-threatening family disorders worldwide, affecting approximately 1 in 250 individuals. But 90% are not diagnosed or being appropriately treated, missing the opportunity to prevent early heart disease. Untreated men have 50% risk of having a heart attack by age 50, while untreated women have 30% risk by age 60. There are effective treatments available. Early diagnosis and proactive treatment lowers the risk for early heart disease for people with FH.
About the FH Foundation™
The FH Foundation is a 501(c)(3) patient-centered nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education, and advocacy for Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). The mission of the FH Foundation is to raise awareness and save lives by increasing the rate of early diagnosis and encouraging proactive treatment. To learn more about the FH Foundation, visit www.thefhfoundation.org.
 Vermissen J, Oosterveer DM, Yazdanpanah M, et al. Efficacy of statins in familial hypercholesterolemia: a long term cohort study. BMJ. 2008;337:2423.
 Marks D, et al. A review on the diagnosis, natural history, and treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia. Atherosclerosis 2003; 168: 1-14.
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SOURCE The FH Foundation