A Comprehensive Neuropsychological Study of Familial Hypercholesterolemia and Its Relationship with Psychosocial Functioning: A Biopsychosocial Approach

Moon Fai Chan, Aishwarya Ganesh, Sangeetha Mahadevan, Siham Al Shamli, Khalid Al-Waili, Suad Al-Mukhaini, Khalid Al-Rasadi, Samir Al-Adawi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Over the past few years, there has been an increasing interest in viewing the diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) through the lens of the biopsychosocial model. However, other than a few epidemiological surveys, there is a dearth of studies from emerging economies that have examined FH using the biological, psychological, and socio-environmental facets of the aforementioned model. AIM. The three aims of the current study were as follows: (i) to examine the psychosocial status among patients with genetically confirmed FH, (ii) to compare their intellectual capacity and cognitive outcomes with a reference group, and (iii) to examine the relationship between health literacy and cognitive functioning. METHOD: Consecutive FH patients referred to the lipid clinic at a tertiary care center for an expert opinion were recruited into this study conducted from September 2019 to March 2020. Information regarding psychosocial functioning, health literacy, quality of life, and affective ranges was surveyed. Indices of current reasoning ability and cognition (attention and concentration, memory, and executive functioning) were compared with a socio-demographically-matched reference group. The current hypothesis also explored the impact of FH on health literacy and cognition. RESULT: A total of 70 participants out of 106 (response rate: 66.0%) initially agreed to participate. However, 18 out of 70 dropped out of the study, yielding a final total of 52 FH patients. With 27 (51.9%) males and 25 (48.1%) females, the mean participant age stood at 37.2 years (SD = 9.2), ranging from 21 to 52 years of age. In the psychosocial data, thirty-two percent (n = 17) of them had anxiety (HADS ≥ 8), and twenty-five percent (n = 13) had depressive symptoms (HADS ≥ 8). The performance of the FH patients was significantly impaired compared to the control group on the indices of current reasoning ability and all domains of cognitive functioning. In the univariate analysis conducted to compare cognitive functioning with health literacy status, only indices of attention and concentration emerged as being significant. CONCLUSION: The current study indicates that the FH population is marked with impediments in biopsychosocial functioning, including indices tapping into the integrity of health literacy, quality of life, affective ranges, and higher functioning such as cognition and current reasoning ability when compared with a socio-demographically-matched reference group. The present results support the hypothesis that chronic diseases vis-à-vis the sequelae of coronary artery disease can potentially impede biopsychosocial functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1127
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biopsychosocial model
  • cognition
  • familial hypercholesterolemia
  • Oman
  • psychosocial functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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