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Emma Broome

Diagnosed with FH and Lp(a)

United Kingdom

Lipoproteins are made up of protein and fat that are low-density (LDL), high density (HDL) or LP(a) which is sometimes spoken of as ’LP little a.’ A genetic predisposition that causes elevated levels of LP(a) can clog arteries and spike the risk of heart disease.

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is another genetic condition featuring unusually elevated levels of LDL cholesterol.

Imagine being diagnosed with both. That’s what happened to Emma Broome in her 30’s.

“LP little a and FH were a double whammy,” said Emma. “I was 33 and heartbroken for many months, having just become engaged. I was too scared to exercise, worried that I would have a heart attack.”

Emma was grateful for the care of a good cardiologist whom she saw twice every year.

“I was mindful of what I was eating and how much I was exercising even if my diagnosis was genetic because a sensible diet and regular lifestyle are just smart in any circumstances. I’m not letting living with FH and with ‘LP little a’ rule my life. I remain mindful of what could happen and what symptoms to look out for.”

Family, friends, caregivers, and organisations have kept Emma going. Six and a half years in, Emma is confident and able to help others, stressing the importance of support and outreach.

“I’ve made quite a lot of friends within the ‘LP Little League’ community and FH community, connecting with others who know what you’re going through. Support is key. If you get diagnosed with elevated levels of LP(a), make sure you have support in place, whether that’s friends, family, or one of the national organizations working on this issue. Then you don’t feel so alone.”

Visit the WHF cholesterol page to learn more.