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A study was performed to determine the morbidity and mortality from ischaemic heart disease (IHD) in patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) and severe hypertriglyceridaemia (pretreatment plasma triglyceride greater than 5 mmol/l). Twenty-nine (38%) of 76 patients with FH and 8(44%) of 18 patients with hypertriglyceridaemia had evidence of IHD. Over a mean follow-up period of 5.5 years, 2 patients with hypertriglyceridaemia died but there were no deaths in patients with FH. This contrasts with earlier reports which showed a high mortality in FH patients. The lower mortality may be due to improved treatment and consequent lower levels of cholesterol.