What is high Lipoprotein(a), and should I be concerned?
Montreal – 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.”
About the study
The study Estimating the Population Impact of Lp(a) Lowering on the Incidence of Myocardial Infarction and Aortic Stenosis was co-written by Mehdi Afshar, Pia R. Kamstrup, Ken Williams, Allan D. Sniderman, Børge G. Nordestgaard and George Thanassoulis, and is published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
Funding support was provided by the MUHC Foundation, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Fonds de Recherche Quebec – Sante
About the RI-MUHC
The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is a world-renowned biomedical and healthcare research centre. The Institute, which is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, is the research arm of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) – an academic health centre located in Montreal, Canada, that has a mandate to focus on complex care within its community. The RI-MUHC supports over 460 researchers and close to 1,300 research trainees devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental, clinical and health outcomes research at the Glen and the Montreal General Hospital sites of the MUHC. Its research facilities offer a dynamic multidisciplinary environment that fosters collaboration and leverages discovery aimed at improving the health of individual patients across their lifespan. The RI-MUHC is supported in part by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS). rimuhc.ca
Communications - Research, McGill University Health Center
valerie [dot] harvey [at] muhc [dot] mcgill [dot] ca
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