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Feasibility of improving identification of familial hypercholesterolaemia in general practice: intervention development study

Qureshi, Nadeem; Weng, Stephen; Tranter, Jennifer; El-Kadiki, Alia; Kai, Joe


Stephen Weng

Jennifer Tranter

Alia El-Kadiki


Objectives: To assess the feasibility of improving identification of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) in primary care, and of collecting outcome measures to inform a future trial.
Design: Feasibility intervention study.
Setting: 6 general practices (GPs) in central England.
Participants: 831 eligible patients with elevated cholesterol >7.5 mmol/L were identified, by search of electronic health records, for recruitment to the intervention.
Intervention:Educational session in practice; use of opportunistic computer reminders in consultations or universal postal invitation over 6 months to eligible patients invited to complete a family history questionnaire. Those fulfilling the Simon-Broome criteria for possible FH were invited for GP assessment and referred for specialist definitive diagnosis.
Outcome measures: Rates of recruitment of eligible patients, identification of patients with possible FH, referral to specialist care, diagnosis of confirmed FH in specialist care; and feasibility of collecting relevant outcome measures for a future trial.
Results: Of 173 general practices, 18 were interested in participating and 6 were recruited. From 831 eligible patients, 127 (15.3%) were recruited and completed family history questionnaires: 86 (10.7%) through postal invitation and 41 (4.9%) opportunistically. Among the 127 patients, 32 (25.6%) had a possible diagnosis of FH in primary care. Within 6 months of completing recruitment, 7 patients had had specialist assessment confirming 2 patients with definite FH (28.6%), and 5 patients with possible FH (71.4%). Potential trial outcome measures for lipid tests, statin prescribing and secondary causes of hypercholesterolaemia were extracted using automated data extraction from electronic records alone without recourse to other methods.
Conclusions: The intervention is feasible to implement in GP, and facilitates recruitment of patients with raised cholesterol for targeted assessment and identification of FH. Extracting data directly from electronic records could be used to evaluate relevant outcome measures in a future trial.


Qureshi, N., Weng, S., Tranter, J., El-Kadiki, A., & Kai, J. (2016). Feasibility of improving identification of familial hypercholesterolaemia in general practice: intervention development study. BMJ Open, 6, Article e011734.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 3, 2016
Publication Date May 26, 2016
Deposit Date May 31, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 31, 2016
Journal BMJ Open
Electronic ISSN 2044-6055
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Article Number e011734
Keywords feasibility; improving identification; familial hypercholesterolaemia; primary care
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Qureshi BMJ Open 2016.pdf (845 Kb)

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