Lipoprotein(a): new insights from modern genomics

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Purpose of review

Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is the strongest independent genetic risk factor for both myocardial infarction and aortic stenosis. It has also been associated with other forms of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) including ischemic stroke. Its levels are genetically determined and remain fairly stable throughout life. Elevated Lp(a), above 50 mg/dl, affects one in five individuals worldwide.

Recent findings

Herein, we review the recent epidemiologic and genetic evidence supporting the causal role of Lp(a) in CVD, highlight recommendations made by European and Canadian guidelines regarding Lp(a) and summarize the rapidly evolving field of Lp(a)-lowering therapies including antisense therapies and Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 inhibitors.


With novel therapies on the horizon, Lp(a) is poised to gain significant clinical relevance and its lowering could have a significant impact on the burden of CVD.

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