SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To coincide with National Cholesterol Education Month, the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation is launching an education initiative titled, “Good, Bad and Genetic: Know ALL Your Cholesterol Numbers” to raise awareness of the impact of elevated Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), and its significance as an independent, genetic risk factor for early cardiovascular disease, aortic stenosis and stroke.
Some 63 million people in the U.S. have inherited high Lp(a) and it is currently the strongest monogenetic risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, for many people, the first sign of disease is a heart attack or stroke. Lp(a) concentrations can be measured by a simple blood test and could be the first step in preventing up to 120,000 cardiovascular events every year; however, it is not included in most standard lipid panel tests that check cholesterol levels. For more information about patients with high Lp(a), visit www.TESTLpa.org.
The Foundation also announced that representatives testified before the Centers for Disease Control’s ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee to propose the creation of a diagnostic code for elevated Lp(a). “To help identify asymptomatic patients with high Lp(a), the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation and its scientific advisory board have proposed the new ICD-10 diagnosis code for elevated Lp(a). This will enable clinicians to more easily convey its link to cardiovascular disease risk, and to tailor prevention and treatment strategies,” said Sandra Revill Tremulis, founder of Lipoprotein(a) Foundation.
Health and fitness expert Bob Harper, who recently shared that high levels of Lp(a) led to his recent heart attack, voiced his support: “It is very important to let people know fit, healthy people can inherit factors like Lp(a) that cause early heart disease. The creation of this code represents a big step forward to help prevent cardiovascular events due to high Lp(a) through better testing and diagnosis,” said Harper.
The need for new diagnostic code was underscored in a Review Topic of the Week article in a recent issue of the JACC by Sotirios (Sam) Tsimikas, MD, Director, Vascular Medicine, University of California San Diego, and a member of the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. In the article, “A Test in Context: Lipoprotein(a); Diagnosis, Prognosis, Controversies and Emerging Therapies,” Dr Tsimikas reviews the current landscape of Lp(a), discusses controversies, and reviews emerging therapies to reduce Lp(a) levels to decrease risk of CVD and CAVS (DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2016.11.042 - Feb 2017, 69(6) 692-711). According to Dr Tsimikas, “recently published research continues to bolster the substantial evidence showing that Lp(a) is a significant independent, genetic risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and calcific aortic valve stenosis (CAVS). Emerging therapies designed to lower Lp(a) levels show promise to test the hypothesis that reducing Lp(a) will reduce the risk of CVD and CAVS.”
About The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation
Because approximately 63 million Americans have high Lipoprotein(a) and are at risk of premature cardiovascular disease, the vision for the foundation is: To live in a world where high Lipoprotein(a) is routinely diagnosed, treated and family screened. The mission is to prevent cardiovascular events and death due to high Lipoprotein(a) by diagnosing this inherited risk for cardiovascular disease; educating and empowering patients and saving lives. Our goal is to save lives by increasing awareness, advocating for routine testing, and supporting research that will lead to a specific treatment for elevated Lipoprotein(a). Based in San Carlos, California, the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation is a patient-founded, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Learn more about high Lp(a) visit: www.TESTLpa.org
Citations available upon request.