Lipoprotein (a) is an Emerging Risk Factor for CVD

Lipoprotein (a) as emerging risk factor directly linked to the cause of heart disease. Genetic studies and numerous epidemiologic studies have identified Lp(a) as a risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

The cause of cardiovascular diseases was so far centered around high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels, especially high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, were thought to be form arterial plaque. The arterial plaque is made up of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and calcium deposits.

Features of cholesterol theory.

Let’s see what were the features of the high cholesterol theory and heart disease.

The arteries of dead people who died of heart disease were analyzed and were found to contain sticky cholesterol like substance. Analysis of the sticky substance shows presence of cholesterol. Whenever total cholesterol levels are high or HDL levels are low or LDL (bad) cholesterol levels are high atherosclerosis sets in. Hence, high cholesterol levels is considered as a major risk factor for heart disease.

As the arterial plaque consisted of cholesterol particles (LDL cholesterol), it was postulated that eating saturated fats containing cholesterol may be the culprit. It was postulated that eating saturated fats and cholesterol rich foods increases bad cholesterol levels in the blood.

The mechanism of how LDL cholesterol deposits on the walls of blood vessels is not explained.

What is arterial plaque really made of?

The answer to this question was offered by Dr Matthias Rath along with Dr Linus Pauling. Both Dr. Linus Pauling and Dr Matthias Rath were working on the cause of heart disease. Dr Matthias Rath isolated the plaque from the arterial plaque and carefully analyzed it and found that it is different from LDL cholesterol.

Dr Mathias Rath also found that lipoprotein (a) is covalently bound to the walls of the artery. This was the first ever discovery of Lp(a) as an emerging risk factor for CVD.

Dr Matthias and Linus Pauling also reasoned out why lipoprotein (a) levels increase in blood stream and what is the purpose of attaching themselves to the cell wall.

Emerging risk factor:Lipoprotein (a)

Lipoprotein (a) (also called as lp(a) is a lipoprotein subclass. Lipoprotein (a) was discovered in 1963 by Karl Berg. At that time it was not known that is an emerging risk factor.

Lipoprotein (a)[Lp(a)] consists of an LDL-like particle and a specific apolipoproetin(a) [apo(a)], which is covalently bound to apoB of the LDL like particle. Lp(a) plasma concentrations are highly heritable and mainly controlled by the apolipoprotein(a) gene [LPA] located on chromosome6q26-27.

Lipoprotein (a) CVD

High Lp(a) in blood vessels is an emerging risk factor for coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, atherosclerosis, thrombosis and stroke. Lipoprotein (a) is an independent risk factor for heart disease

Lipoprotein(a) as an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease is firmly established. If you are having any of the symptoms of heart disease you are likely to have higher lipoprotein(a) levels in your blood. Lipoprotein (a) levels of 20 mg/dl are considered to be normal. Values above 30 mg/dl indicates that atherosclerosis has set in.  you should contact you doctor and seek his help and take necessary precaution.

The references give below provide the details about Lipoprotein (a) as an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, atherothrombosis. More details can be obtained from these references.

Conclusion: Does lowering lp(a) offer another new way of reducing the risk of heart disease or keeping the cholesterol levels normal? Recent findings suggest that Lp(a)-lowering therapy might be beneficial in patients with high Lp(a) levels. A future therapeutic approach could include apheresis in high-risk patients in order to reduce major coronary events.

The key to optimal health is providing all the nutrients to the body in adequate amount, exercise and eating an alkaline diet menu plan, which maintains the body pH slightly on the alkaline side.


1)  Lippi G, Guidi G. Lipoprotein (a): an emerging cardiovascular risk factor. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2003 Feb; 40(1): 1-42.

2) Hegele  R A. Lipoprotein (a): an emerging  risk factor for atherosclerosis. Can J Cardiol. 1989 Jun-Aug;5(5):263-5

3) Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Erqou S, Kaptoge S, Perry PL, Di Angelantonio E, Thompson A, White IR, Marcovina SM, Collins R, Thompson SG, Danesh J. Lipoprotein(a) concentration and the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and nonvascular mortality. JAMA. 2009 Jul 22;302(4):412-23. doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.1063.

4) Børge G. Nordestgaar. Lipoprotein(a) as a cardiovascular risk factor: Current statu. European Heart Journal (2010), 2844,2853

5) Miachel B Boffa PhD, Santica M. Marcovina PhD, ScD, Marlys L. Kochinsky PhD. Lipoprotein(a) as an Emerging Risk Factor for Atherothrombosis. Therapeutic Lipidology, Contemporary Cardiology 2007, pp 241-266

 6)  Cantenac C, Cavarape A, Dotto L, Colussi G, Novehllo M, De Marchis S, Sechi LA. The emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease: a review of the epidemiologic evidence for lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, and fibrinogen. Adv Clin Path. 2003 Jan;7(1):3-11

 7) Michele Malaguarnera, Marco Vacante, Cristina Russo, et al., Lipoprotein(a) in Cardiovascular Diseases, BioMed Research International, vol. 2013, Article ID 650989, 9 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/650989



Lipoprotein (a) as emerging risk factor

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