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Heart Disease Risk Is Associated with Lipoprotein(a) Level!

Posted Aug 24 2008 3:46pm

Recently, I read an article titled: “blood protein linked to heart disease”. It sounds interesting so I read on. The blood protein actually referred to lipoprotein(a), which is a compound that carries fats in the blood.

A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK, linked risk of heart disease to the levels of lipoprotein(a): when one has higher levels of lipoprotein(a), his or her chance of getting heart disease is higher! They published their findings in the “Archives of Internal Medicine”.

In fact, a number of lipoproteins do exist, but lipoprotein(a) differs from others: its levels do not change with diet and exercise. They remain more or less stable and seem to reflect a person's genetic makeup.

By examining data on participants in an Icelandic study that began in 1967, the researchers measured levels of lipoprotein(a) in 2,047 subjects who later died from heart disease, and in 3,921 subjects who did not die from heart disease.

After adjusting for the effect of established risk factors, the subjects with the highest levels of lipoprotein(a) were 60 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those with the lowest levels. Furthermore, the higher the level of lipoprotein(a), the greater the risk of heart disease.

In the study, no correlation was found between risk factors like older age, high cholesterol and high blood pressure and the level of lipoprotein(a). Therefore, measuring lipoprotein(a) levels may provide information above and beyond that obtained from merely looking at the traditional risk factors.

Such deduction undoubtedly provides persuasive evidence that lipoprotein(a) is related to the risk of subsequent heart disease. The researchers felt that the data from the study should generate interest in research that can discover if there is a cause-and-effect relationship between lipoprotein(a) and heart disease, and hope that further studies will be carried out to investigate the value of lipoprotein(a) measurement in preventing heart disease.
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