Dr Mike MacDonald


Lipoprotein(a) (also called Lp(a) or LPA) is a lipoprotein subclass. Genetic studies and numerous epidemiologic studies have identified Lp(a) as a risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Lipoprotein(a) was discovered in 1963 by Kåre Berg and the human gene encoding apolipoprotein(a) was cloned in 1987.

2 Responses

  1. Dr. MacDonald, for the first time my apoB and Lp(a) was measured. At 240, the Lp(a) alarmed me. ApoB was okay at 61. What confounds me is that my family is notably long-lived with very little evidence of heart disease going back to great grandparents. Are there any other genes that could be in play here? I’m a 77 year old female with no symptoms, just was inspired to ask for the test from following you as a health journalist. I had slightly elevated ldl, accepted a statin a few months age and LDL is now already quite low. Thanks for your work educating the public.

    1. Hi Tess,
      You point out something that is important. Lp(a) is just a risk factor meaning that there are plenty of people with high Lp(a) that don’t get accelerated atherosclerosis, early heart attacks and strokes. However, there are also people with subclinical disease that don’t have these events either. I suspect that there are other genes in play. It is still worth taking a statin to lower your ApoB. They have been shown to be effective at event reduction even past 70.

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