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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1981-1986

Assessment of family physicians' awareness and knowledge of familial hypercholesterolemia in governmental hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Department of Family Medicine, Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Maha Mohammed Arnous
Department of Family Medicine, Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh - 12625
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_285_19

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Background: Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited and complex multifactorial disease that can lead to early onset of coronary artery disease (CAD). Diagnosis, treatment, and management of FH require a well-trained physician with high awareness of the disease and different risk factors to avoid complications. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated family physicians' awareness and knowledge of FH using self-administered questionnaires in governmental hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during 2018. Results: A total of 225 family physicians completed the questionnaire, with a response rate of 58.4%. The mean age of respondents was 31.3 years and more than 59.1% were men. Although 72.4% of physicians rated their familiarity with FH as average and above, 48.4% of all participants had poor FH knowledge, while only 51.6% had acceptable FH knowledge. About 65.8% of physicians reported that they routinely take a detailed family history, perform a physical examination, and screen close relatives. Awareness of various clinical algorithms for diagnosis of patients with FH was very low at 52.0%. The mean FH knowledge and familiarity scores were significantly higher (P < 0.001) among participants who were older, had higher training levels, or longer years in practice. Conclusions: The current study revealed significant deficits in FH familiarity, awareness, knowledge, and practice among Saudi physicians. FH educational programs directed at all physicians involved in FH patients' management are necessary to improve physicians' knowledge of all aspects of FH management, including the importance of a mechanism for identifying people at risk for a genetic condition by a process of systematic family tracing.

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