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Treating Out of Control Cholesterol: HOFH
Do you know your LDL?
It's the bad cholesterol in our bodies and the American Heart Association says keeping it under 100 is best to avoid heart attacks and strokes, but for some people no matter what they do their numbers skyrocket.
Now a drug that's just hit the market could help bring it back down to earth.
Wenter Blair is a Shutterbug.
HOFH Patient Wenter Blair says, "Heaven forbid something does happen to me, my babies have a really good idea of who I am through my photography."
She suffers from an inherited condition called HOFH. Her body cannot remove the bad cholesterol from her blood.
Blair: "Every night I go to bed fearful that it might be my last night."
Wenter's LDL levels are usually around 350. She had three heart attacks before she was 43.
Blair: "I know I don't have it under control and it scares the living crud out of me."
Kynamro was recently FDA approved to treat HOFH.
Genzyme Corporation General Manager Paula Soteropoulos says, "A technology that's been in development for 30 years and this is the first real breakthrough in that technology."
Developed in part by genzyme, General Manager Paula Aoteropoulos says the once-a-week injection stops the production of cholesterol.
A clinical trial found, on average patients taking kynamro saw their LDL levels drop 25-percent.
Soteropoulos: "This is getting them to levels they have never seen before."
Wenter says this and other drugs in the works are giving her a better picture of what her future could be.
Blair: "I want to live a really long time and without them I won't see the longevity that I so crave."
Kynamro is not a replacement for a patient's HOFH medications.
It's designed to be added to their treatment regimen.
The DFA reports the most serious risk of the drug is liver toxicity.
Other side effects include nausea, headache, and flu-like symptoms.