Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of Americans, yet 50% of hospital admissions for coronary artery disease have normal LDL-cholesterol. The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation, a nonprofit, is revealing this hidden risk for patients.
“Patients with elevated Lp(a) levels have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease. Lp(a) is a genetically-determined condition that is not responsive to lifestyle changes. Elevated Lp(a) levels are present in approximately 30% of the population at large. Since Lp(a) currently is not routinely measured by physicians, many patients are unaware that they have elevated levels. Lp(a) can be measured with a routine lipid blood panel but there is no adequate treatment currently to lower levels. Knowledge of elevated Lp(a) levels may motivate physicians to treat their patients more aggressively and patients to live a heart healthy lifestyle until specific therapies can be developed and tested clinically,” said Sotirios Tsimikas, M.D., professor of medicine and director of vascular medicine at the University of California San Diego.
“The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation is a needed resource for education of patients and their families that aims to raise public awareness of the potential risk of elevated Lp(a) levels that will hopefully lead to prevention and early treatment of cardiovascular disease,” said Tsimikas.
“It is now documented that elevated Lp(a) levels not only cause heart attacks, but also aortic valve stenosis, another serious and potentially deadly heart disease. Therefore, like those with heart attacks, individuals with aortic valve stenosis and their family members should have Lp(a) measured,” said professor, chief physician Børge Nordestgaard from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark. “It is a great commitment to initiate the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation, as this may help more individuals and patients being diagnosed with this genetic disorder.”
Thomas Dayspring, M.D., FACP, FNLA the director of Cardiovascular Education at the Foundation for Health Improvement and Technology in Richmond, Va., said recent data has shown Lp(a) is the strongest genetic risk factor for coronary artery disease.
“Now more than ever, Americans need to understand their inherited risk for cardiovascular disease and advocate for their own health,” said Sandra Revill Tremulis, founder of the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation.
In May 2013, inspired by the lack of awareness for this common lipid condition, Tremulis started the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation. The vision for the foundation is to live in a world where high lipoprotein(a) is routinely, diagnosed, treated and family screened. There is no specific therapy for high Lp(a). The mission is to prevent cardiovascular events due to high lipoprotein(a) by revealing this inherited risk for cardiovascular disease, empowering patients and saving lives. The foundation wants to save lives by increasing awareness, and advocating for routine testing and development of a specific treatment for high Lp(a).
People can receive the latest information on Lp(a) by becoming members of the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation at www.lipoproteinafoundation.org, where they can connect with an online community of people who have a dedicated interest in cardiovascular health and receive periodic news updates, information from experts and links to useful resources.