Do You Know Your Lp(a) Level?

Health & Wellness, Heart Health

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When it comes to heart health, most efforts have focused on lowering high levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol).  However, it turns out that a “cousin” of LDL, known as Lp(a) may be just as dangerous if levels are too high.  A normal level of Lp(a) is less than 75 nmol/L.

In our new paper, we report on a woman who underwent heart bypass surgery at the age of 27!   The main reason for this young woman’s premature heart disease was her very high levels of Lp(a) measured between 450-550 nmol/L!

If you are at risk of heart disease, make sure to have your Lp(a) levels checked.  The good news is that there are new medications that can lower high levels.  They include the PCSK9 inhibitors that reduce Lp(a) levels by ~30%.   A new class of medications currently in testing can lower Lp(a) levels ~60-80%.  If your levels are very high, you may qualify for an upcoming clinical trial testing whether this medication can lower the risk of a future heart attack or stroke.

Michael Miller, MD is author of Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease” & Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland USA.  

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