JCL Roundtable: Global Think Tank on Lipoprotein(a).
Lipoprotein(a) operates in causal pathways to promote atherosclerosis, arterial thrombosis, and aortic stenosis. It has been associated with rare cases of nonatherosclerotic arterial thrombotic stroke at any age. Inherited variation of lipoprotein(a) levels substantially increases cardiovascular risk in 20% of people worldwide. Recent progress in identifying the risk associated with lipoprotein(a) and in pursuing effective treatment has led to a recent Global Think Tank including representatives from the European Atherosclerosis Society, American Heart Association, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, National Lipid Association, and other groups. The need for standardized laboratory measurement in nanomoles per liter met with unanimous consensus. Atherosclerotic risk is linearly associated with plasma lipoprotein(a) levels, so that persons with the highest levels may have risk similar to other severe inherited lipoprotein disorders. Universal once-in-lifetime screening has been recommended by European and Canadian cardiovascular societies, but not by U.S. organizations. Current pharmacologic therapies are limited to 20-30% lowering of lipoprotein(a) levels, and no pharmacologic treatment for lowering lipoprotein(a) has yet been proven to reduce risk in a cardiovascular outcomes trial. Treatment for high-risk patients focuses on reducing low density lipoprotein cholesterol and other risk factors. New therapies targeting messenger RNA for apolipoprotein(a) can achieve 80-90% reduction of lipoprotein(a) levels. One such therapy using a liver-directed antisense oligonucleotide is currently being tested in a large cardiovascular outcomes trial. Increased recognition of lipoprotein(a)-associated risk and emergence of potentially effective therapy together lead to a mandate for a unified global effort on education, standardization, and clinical management.
Maher, LL; Tokgözoğlu, SL; Sanchez, EJ; Underberg, JA; Guyton, JR
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