CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation has been granted nonprofit status as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service tax code. The announcement was made during the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2014, at which the foundation is exhibiting in booth No. 1086. The foundation is also holding its first scientific advisory board meeting this evening in Chicago.
The nonprofit designation means donations and gifts to the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation are fully tax-deductible, retroactive to its founding in November 2013, and the organization is eligible to apply for government and foundation grants.
“Nonprofit status is a huge step forward,” said Lipoprotein(a) Foundation Founder Sandra Revill Tremulis. “This gives us the ability to continue and greatly expand our mission of cardiovascular disease prevention through education, research and increased awareness of the hidden dangers of Lp(a), including heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and aortic stenosis.”
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans, and it is estimated that 30 percent of Americans are living with or at risk from high Lp(a).1 It is also highly heritable, making Lp(a) the most common genetic risk factor for coronary artery disease.2 This cholesterol-rich lipoprotein is often passed down from one generation to the next and frequently affects multiple family members.
Unfortunately, since Lp(a) is not usually included in routine cholesterol testing, millions of patients with “normal” cholesterol but elevated Lp(a) remain at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, research shows that half of all hospital admissions for coronary artery disease have normal LDL cholesterol.3
“When heart disease appears prematurely in families, strong consideration must be given to the evaluation of non-traditional risk factors such as Lp(a) in addition to traditional heart disease risk factors,” said Terry A. Jacobson, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.N.L.A., President, National Lipid Association (2014-2015) and Professor of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. “Lp(a) is a deadly form of cholesterol that is commonly inherited. I applaud the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation for raising public awareness about this important cardiovascular risk factor and for helping patients and their families reduce their chances of heart attack and stroke.”
Lp(a) is the last major cholesterol disorder without any specific treatment, and since it is not routinely diagnosed by physicians, many patients are unaware of the potential risk associated with high levels. Lp(a) can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, and Tremulis hopes that with greater awareness, patients and their families can be specifically tested and more aggressively treated for overall cardiovascular disease risk, thereby reducing risk from Lp(a).
Although there is no single treatment to lower Lp(a), Niacin has shown some benefit in reducing levels of this inherited lipoprotein, and statins can reduce events in persons with elevated Lp(a) by improving their overall cholesterol levels. Several major clinical trials researching new drugs that target Lp(a) are also underway. For more information on getting involved, visit the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation at www.lipoproteinafoundation.org. To make a tax-exempt donation, visit our secure, online donation form.
About The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation:
Based in San Carlos, California, the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation is a patient-advocacy, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 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. Our mission is to reveal this inherited risk for cardiovascular disease, educate and empower patients, and save 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). For more information visit www.lipoproteinafoundation.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
1 Tsimikas S, Hall J. Lipoprotein(a) as a Potential Causal Genetic Risk Factor of Cardiovascular Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Aug 21;60(8):716-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.04.038. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22898069
2 Kronenberg F, Uterman G. Lipoprotein(a): resurrected by genetics. J Intern Med. 2013 Jan;273(1):6-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2012.02592.x. Epub 2012 Nov 12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998429
3 Sachdeva A, Cannon CP, Deedwania PC, et al. Lipid levels in patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease: An analysis of 136,905 hospitalizations in Get With The Guidelines. AM Heart J 2009;157:111-7.e2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19081406