What is Lipoprotein(a) ?
Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), is a form of (low-density lipoprotein (LDL)). LDL is the “bad” type cholesterol, which can build up in the artery wall and cause a blockage (plaque).
Increased levels of Lp(a) may increase the risk of heart disease. Lp(a) may also lead to early blockage in the arteries which can cause heart attack and stroke.
Lp(a) is one factor that we think about when looking at a child’s risk factors for heart disease and stroke. If it is high this can help decide when/if a child needs medicine for his/her cholesterol.
What is an a high Lp(a) level?
Desirable Lp(a) – Less than 30 mg/dl
Borderline Lp(a) – 30-50 mg/dl
Higher risk Lp(a) – Greater than 50 mg/dl
These are the normal values we suggest but may vary based on the lab.
The increased risk for heart disease and stroke for those with iIncreased Lp(a) is even higher in persons who have a family history of heart disease. A high Lp(a) level can increase the risk for heart disease even if a person has normal or “good” cholesterol levels.
What is the treatment for elevated high Lp(a) levels?
Because genetics play a role in high Lp(a) levels, treatment is hard. Some medicines may lower Lp(a),; but the main treatment is careful control of all other heart disease risk factors, like LDL cholesterol.
If the Lp(a) level is high there are other things your child can do to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.:
Reduce LDL cholesterol levels to less than 100 mg/dl
Reduce high blood pressure
Quit smoking or vaping
Reduce or get rid of secondhand smoke
Make exercise a part of your child’s daily routine