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Ignored cholesterol cause of heart attacks

The form of cholesterol called lipoprotein (a) is rarely mentioned in cholesterol articles and research. It is often ignored. However, a new study will have more people paying attention now! Especially when they know the statins they take are not lowering this type of cholesterol.

People with higher levels of a form of cholesterol called lipoprotein (a), were more likely to have heart attacks, according to the study.

What is lipoprotein (a)?

Lipoprotein (a) is a form of cholesterol found in the blood. The levels are determined almost entirely by genetics. Lipoprotein(a) is a specialized form of LDL (low-density lipoprotein).

A healthy level of Lipoprotein is less than 14mg/dL or 35nmol/l. A very high risk level would be considered to be greater than 50mg/dL or 125nmol/l.

The lipoprotein (a) study

Danish researchers analyzed the genes of almost 45,000 men and women who gave blood samples for a national survey that started in 1976. They had their lipoprotein (a) levels tested and tracked them until 2007.

The study found that people with the highest lipoprotein (a) levels were 2 to 3 times more likely to have a heart attack than those with the lowest levels.

Lead researcher, Dr Nordestgaard from Copenhagen University Hospital said, “lipoprotein (a) has been around for a long time as a risk factor but people hadn’t taken it too seriously because they didn’t think it caused heart attacks. Now we show that, like LDL, it is causing heart attacks.”

What can you do to lower your risk?

The researchers feel the study helps explain why statins don’t work for some people. Statins lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol, but do not actively lower lipoprotein (a) levels. Niacin, a B vitamin which is often prescribed to lower cholesterol, is known to lower lipoprotein (a) levels. Aspirin is also known to lower lipoprotein (a) levels.

The researchers agree that more studies need to be done to find out more about lipoprotein (a) and how it can be lowered. The study was published in the Journal of American Medical Association.

Note: This article is a study review and does not offer medical advice. Please discuss this study with your doctor if you are concerned about your lipoprotein (a) levels.

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Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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