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Disease Profile

Familial HDL deficiency

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.
<1 / 1 000 000

< 331

US Estimated

< 514

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Hypoalphalipoproteinemia, familial; FHA; High density lipoprotein deficiency;


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Endocrine Diseases; Metabolic disorders


Familial HDL deficiency is a rare genetic condition that causes low levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. HDL helps remove excess cholesterol and fats from your blood. People with familial HDL deficiency may develop cardiovascular disease at a relatively young age, often before age 50. This condition is caused by changes in the ABCA1 or the APOA1 genes. The deficiency is passed through families in an autosomal dominant pattern.[1]

More severely reduced levels of HDL in the blood is a characteristic feature of a related disorder called Tangier disease.


This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
30%-79% of people have these symptoms
Abnormality of the liver
Abnormal liver
Liver abnormality

[ more ]

Low number of red blood cells or hemoglobin
Blurred vision
Corneal opacity
Decreased HDL cholesterol concentration
Decreased circulating high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
Decreased HDL cholesterol
Low HDL-cholesterol

[ more ]

EMG abnormality
Paralysis or weakness of one side of body
Swollen lymph nodes
Increased spleen size
Yellow bumps of fatty deposits on skin
1%-4% of people have these symptoms
Premature coronary artery atherosclerosis
Premature coronary artery disease
Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Autosomal dominant inheritance
Myocardial infarction
Heart attack

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

In-Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Familial HDL deficiency. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  1. Familial HDL Deficiency. Genetics Home Reference. November 2012; https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/familial-hdl-deficiency. Accessed 1/19/2016.