Free early detection in children for diabetes and familial hypercholesterolemia

Free early detection in children for diabetes and familial hypercholesterolemia

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Better early detection of diabetes and familial hypercholesterolemia
Some children suffer from illnesses from birth which are initially not noticeable but which pose significant health risks later in life. These include, for example, type 1 diabetes and the so-called familial hypercholesterolaemia. Parents in Lower Saxony can now have their children examined for these two diseases free of charge as part of the “Fr1dolin study”. For example, the early detection of type 1 diabetes and familial hypercholesterolemia should be significantly improved.

The study is a unique initiative of the Auf der Bult Children's and Adolescent Hospital in Hanover. It offers all parents in Lower Saxony the opportunity "to have their child tested free of charge for two chronic diseases with the help of the resident pediatricians: type 1 diabetes and familial hypercholesterolemia", the clinic announced. "The aim of the study is to identify affected children and to treat them early," emphasizes the head of the study, Prof. Dr. Olga Kordonouri.

Up to 320,000 children can participate
The study is designed for a period of two years and a total of around 320,000 children between the ages of two and six who live in Lower Saxony can participate, reports the children's hospital. The study is being coordinated by the Diabetes Center in the children's and adolescent hospital on the Bult. The screening is carried out throughout Lower Saxony by resident pediatricians. Here, as part of the U7a, U8 or U9 preventive check-ups or other pediatric visits - with the consent of the parents - a sample of capillary blood can be taken and sent to the study center of the children's and adolescent hospital.

Examination of blood samples
The blood samples are examined in the laboratory of the children's clinic for the presence of familial hypercholesterolemia and then sent to the Institute for Diabetes Research at the Helmholtz Center in Munich for diabetes screening. If the diagnosis of pre-type 1 diabetes or familial hypercholesterolemia is made, the study center informs the responsible pediatrician, who then contacts the parents and discusses the further procedure in cooperation with the study center.

Offers of help for sick children and their families
"The families concerned are advised on the respective illness and practically trained (symptoms, risks, check-ups, therapeutic options, organization of everyday life and support of the child) by teams of experts on time and place of residence," reports the children's hospital. Other family members, such as parents or siblings, are also offered an examination for the presence of familial hypercholesterolemia. The study also recorded and evaluated the psychological stress on the family. If necessary, customized support can be offered here promptly. The participation in another prevention study is also open to children with early type 1 diabetes, says co-study director Professor Dr. Thomas Danne.

Rising number of new cases of diabetes
According to the children's hospital, type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the second most common chronic illness in childhood. In Germany alone, around 30,000 children are affected by the disease. This is still incurable and means a significant change in their lifestyle for those affected and their families, the experts explain. The significant increase in diseases is also of concern. The number of new cases increases by three to four percent annually. “In preschool age in particular, it increases dramatically by 5 to 7 percent,” continues the children's hospital.

Avoid premature hardening of the arteries
In addition, familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) "is an important genetic cause of premature coronary artery disease." Current studies have also shown that the frequency of the disease in European countries is massively underestimated. Although a large number of young adults are affected, familial hypercholesterolemia is recognized and treated in good time in less than one percent. However, the rapid onset of hardening of the arteries can only be prevented by early detection and appropriate treatment. Interested parents can find out about participating in the study on the free hotline 0800 37136546 (fp)

Author and source information

Video: A Common Genetic Cause of High LDL Cholesterol Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia (July 2022).


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