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What is high lipoprotein(a), and should I be concerned?

RI-MUHC study finds that many affected individuals are unaware, and that lowering this form of cholesterol could lead to major reductions in cardiovascular disease

Date:
February 22, 2017
Source:
McGill University Health Centre
Summary:
Elevations in a unusual form of cholesterol, called Lipoprotein(a) or Lp(a), as responsible for 1 in 14 heart attacks and 1 in 7 cases of aortic valve disease, research has found.
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A team of researchers from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (RI-MUHC) found that elevations in a unusual form of cholesterol, called Lipoprotein(a) or Lp(a), as responsible for 1 in 14 heart attacks and 1 in 7 cases of aortic valve disease. This form of cholesterol is not commonly screened for in Canada, so most people do not even know they are at risk. Although no specific treatments exist to lower Lp(a), new therapies are being developed, and in addition to this study, the researchers hope to demonstrate how lowering this form of cholesterol could have an important impact on the population.
Credit: McGill University Health Center

A team of researchers from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (RI-MUHC) found that elevations in a unusual form of cholesterol, called Lipoprotein(a) or Lp(a), as responsible for 1 in 14 heart attacks and 1 in 7 cases of aortic valve disease.

This form of cholesterol is not commonly screened for in Canada, so most people do not even know they are at risk. Although no specific treatments exist to lower Lp(a), new therapies are being developed, and in addition to this study, the researchers hope to demonstrate how lowering this form of cholesterol could have an important impact on the population.

"Approximately 20 per cent of individuals have high Lp (a), a form of cholesterol that is highly heritable and runs in families," says Dr. George Thanassoulis, who is a researcher at the RI-MUHC and principal author of the study "We hope that our work will raise awareness that individuals with high Lp(a) are at high risk of heart disease and hopefully stimulate the development and testing of new therapies."


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Materials provided by McGill University Health Centre. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

McGill University Health Centre. "What is high lipoprotein(a), and should I be concerned? RI-MUHC study finds that many affected individuals are unaware, and that lowering this form of cholesterol could lead to major reductions in cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170222145758.htm>.
McGill University Health Centre. (2017, February 22). What is high lipoprotein(a), and should I be concerned? RI-MUHC study finds that many affected individuals are unaware, and that lowering this form of cholesterol could lead to major reductions in cardiovascular disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170222145758.htm
McGill University Health Centre. "What is high lipoprotein(a), and should I be concerned? RI-MUHC study finds that many affected individuals are unaware, and that lowering this form of cholesterol could lead to major reductions in cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170222145758.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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