Gonadal steroids, gonadotropins and DHEAS in young adults with familial hypercholesterolemia who had initiated statin therapy in childhood

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Statins are currently the preferred pharmacological therapy in children with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) with the aim to prevent premature cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, concerns have been raised that lowering cholesterol levels with statins could interfere with hormone production. In this study hormone concentrations were assessed in young adult FH subjects before and 10 years after the initiation of statins, and compared with their unaffected siblings. All 214 FH children (8-18 years) who were previously randomized into a placebo-controlled trial evaluating the 2-year efficacy and safety of pravastatin, and their 95 unaffected siblings, were eligible. Women using oral contraceptives were excluded. Fasted blood samples were taken to measure lipids and testosterone (males), estradiol (females), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and dehydroepiandosterone (DHEAS). After ten years, gonadal steroid and gonadotropin concentrations were within the reference interval and did not differ between FH subjects (n = 88) and unaffected siblings (n = 62). Mean DHEAS concentrations (±standard deviation) in the FH subjects and female siblings were normally distributed within the reference interval, whereas male siblings had a higher mean DHEAS concentration than their FH brothers (12.9 [± 4.9] vs. 8.4 [± 3.0] μmol/L, respectively, p < 0.0001). After ten years of statin treatment, testosterone, estradiol, LH and FSH concentrations in young adult FH patients are within the reference interval and comparable to their unaffected siblings. These results strengthen current guidelines that statins in FH subjects could be safely used from childhood onwards to prevent premature CVD
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-432
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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