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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Tangier disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • A-alphalipoprotein neuropathy
  • Alpha high density lipoprotein deficiency disease
  • Analphalipo-proteinemia
  • Cholesterol thesaurismosis
  • Familial high density lipoprotein deficiency disease
More Names
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What are the symptoms of Tangier disease?

Tangier disease is characterized by significantly reduced levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) - the "good" cholesterol - in the blood. HDL transports cholesterol and certain fats called phospholipids from the body's tissues to the liver, where they are removed from the blood. Because people with Tangier disease have very low levels of HDL, they have a moderately increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Additional signs and symptoms of Tangier disease include a slightly elevated amount of fat in the blood; disturbances in nerve function; and enlarged, orange-colored tonsils. Affected individuals often develop atherosclerosis, which is an accumulation of fatty deposits and scar-like tissue in the lining of the arteries. Other features of this condition may include an enlarged spleen, an enlarged liver, clouding of the clear covering of the eye, and type 2 diabetes.[1]
Last updated: 8/19/2011

  1. Tangier disease. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). 2010; Accessed 8/19/2011.