SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In recent years, stroke incidence and hospitalizations have increased more than 40 percent among younger individuals from 25 to 44 years of age1. Highlighting the growing impact of stroke on young adults and adolescents during Stroke Awareness Month, the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation has issued an Infographic to raise awareness about stroke education. One in 5 people globally have inherited high Lipoprotein(a) - 63 million in the U.S.4 - and are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Additionally, the Foundation will be featured on TALK BUSINESS 360 TV on American Airlines during June and July 2017 featuring Justin, a Las Vegas-area high school football player who suffered a massive stroke at age 15. According to the National Stroke Association, 15 percent of ischemic strokes occur in young adults and adolescents, and as many as 40 percent of strokes in adolescents are unexplained. Young, healthy, active and fit, doctors determined that a genetic cholesterol condition led to Justin’s stroke - high levels of Lipoprotein(a), also known as Lp(a). Lp(a) is a strong, independent risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke2,4. Unfortunately, for some people like Justin, the first sign of disease is a heart attack or stroke.
When Justin collapsed, he was rushed to the local children’s hospital where he was kept sedated for five days. When he awoke he was completely paralyzed on his left side; he could not eat, drink, walk or move his left arm or hand. After a week in PICU, he was transferred to the in-patient rehab center where Justin began the work of learning to function again. Through hard work and determination, Justin was able to walk out of the rehab center three weeks later. Today, Justin is an active 17-year-old high school senior. Although he can no longer play football, he is an active member of his high school football team and attends all practices and games. For more information about patients with high Lp(a) and stroke, visit www.TESTLpa.org
Recently published research continues to demonstrate the impact of elevated Lp(a) and its significance as an independent, genetic risk factor for early cardiovascular disease. The study “Lipoprotein (a) level, apolipoprotein (a) size, and risk of unexplained ischemic stroke in young and middle-aged adults" was recently published in Atherosclerosis, the International Journal for Research and Investigation on Atherosclerosis and Related Diseases (DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.08.013). According to researchers, the study underscores the importance of Lp(a) level as an independent risk factor for unexplained ischemic stroke, particularly in young and middle-aged white adults. Given the emergence of effective Lp(a)-lowering therapies, these findings support routine testing for Lp(a) in this setting, along with further research to assess the extent to which such therapies improve outcomes in this population.3
Lp(a) is currently the strongest monogenetic risk factor for coronary heart disease and aortic stenosis. 2,4 “Highly inheritable, if one parent had an ischemic stroke before 65, the children have 3 times the risk of suffering a stroke as well.5 A recent paper from Dr Goldenberg of Johns Hopkins Medicine also demonstrated that an ischemic stroke patient with high Lp(a) has a 10X greater risk of having a repeat stroke," said Patrick M. Moriarty, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Director of Clinical Pharmacology, Atherosclerosis and Lipoprotein Apheresis Center, Internal Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas.6
Lp(a) concentrations can be measured by a simple blood test and could be the first step in preventing up to 120,000 heart attacks and strokes every year;2,7 however, it is not included in most standard lipid panel tests that check cholesterol levels.1
“There is a growing body of research that links high Lp(a) to heart attacks and strokes. Unfortunately, for people like Justin, the first sign of a problem is when they have a stroke or heart attack. We are proud to support education and awareness of unexplained stroke, particularly in adolescents and young adults like Justin and will continue to empower patients and prevent cardiovascular events and death due to high Lipoprotein(a) through proper testing and diagnosis,” said Sandra Revill Tremulis, founder of Lipoprotein(a) Foundation.
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 stroke and high Lp(a) visit: www.TESTLpa.org
Citations available upon request.