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Lipoprotein(a) is a Coronary Risk Factor in Diabetes

Higher levels of Lipoprotein(a) in patients with type 2 diabetes increases risk for CAD A group of researchers led by Dr Vincenzo Solfrizzi from the University of Bari in Italy, studied the association of lipoprotein(a) with lipid and nonlipid risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). The researchers studied 400 of the 5632 elderly people aged 65 to 84 years who were enrolled in the prevalence survey of the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging.

The researchers showed that the interaction between low serum levels of lipoprotein(a) and high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol did not significantly increase the risk of CAD (odds ratio 1.39). High serum levels of lipoprotein(a), however, were a risk factor for CAD when associated with elevated LDL cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes. The risk of CAD in nondiabetic patients with lipoprotein(a) levels >20mg/dL and LDL cholesterol >3.63mmol/L was increased by 2.75, but this risk increased to 6.65 in patients with diabetes. The authors suggest that lipoprotein(a) is a risk factor for CAD in elderly patients, but only when associated with other risk factors, such as elevated LDL cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Cardiology 2002;89:825-9