SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved two ICD-10 codes for the diagnosis of elevated Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a). The ICD-10 diagnosis codes help to identify asymptomatic patients with elevated Lipoprotein(a) (E78.41) and a family history of elevated Lipoprotein(a) (Z83.430), and will go into effect in October of this year.
It’s estimated 1 in 5 people globally and 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 aortic valve disease. Unfortunately, for many people, the first sign of disease is a heart attack or stroke. Although the concentration of Lp(a) can be measured by a simple blood test, it is not included in most standard lipid panel tests that check cholesterol levels. According to a recent study, traditional cholesterol tests miss 8% of people who have a cardiovascular event and whose only risk factor is high Lp(a).
To raise awareness of the need to identify asymptomatic patients with high Lp(a), The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation testified before the Centers for Disease Control’s ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee in September 2017 to propose the creation of diagnostic codes for elevated Lipoprotein(a). “We are pleased the CDC has approved the new ICD-10 diagnosis codes specific to elevated Lipoprotein(a) in response to our application. These new diagnostic codes will enable clinicians to identify clearly in the medical record the presence of a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to tailor prevention and treatment strategies,” said Sandra Revill Tremulis, founder of Lipoprotein(a) Foundation. “We are grateful for Marina Vernalis DO FACC, Medical Director, Integrative Cardiac Health Project, Henry Jackson Foundation, and Renata Engler, MD, Cardio-Immunology Consultant, Integrative Cardiac Health Project, who testified with the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation before the Centers for Disease Control, and the extraordinary expertise we receive from our Scientific Advisory Board. We would also like to thank health and fitness expert Bob Harper, who voiced his support for the ICD-10 codes shortly after revealing that high levels of Lp(a) led to his heart attack.”
The need for new diagnostic codes was underscored in the article, “NHLBI Working Group Recommendations to Reduce Lipoprotein(a)-Mediated Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Aortic Stenosis,” published in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). In response to advocacy by The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation, the NHLBI convened a strategic task force meeting to better characterize the role of Lp(a) in CVD and calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). “Without an ICD-10 code for the diagnosis of elevated Lp(a), clinicians have no way to document elevated Lp(a) levels, except with the use of a generic hypercholesterolemia code. The lack of an ICD-10 code also limits research on Lp(a) using electronic health records,” said Sotirios (Sam) Tsimikas, MD, Director, Vascular Medicine, University of California San Diego, lead author of the JACC paper and a member of the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board.
“Importantly, more than 1 billion people globally have elevated levels of Lp(a). Convincing evidence has emerged from pathophysiological, epidemiological, and genetic studies that Lp(a) is causally related to both CVD, which includes myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and heart failure, and CAVD. Emerging therapies designed to significantly lower Lp(a) levels will allow us to test the hypothesis that reducing Lp(a) will reduce the risk of CVD and CAVD,” noted Henry Ginsberg, MD, Irving Professor of Medicine, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, and Chief Medical Officer for The 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 (CVD), the vision for the foundation is: To live in a world where high Lipoprotein(a) is routinely diagnosed and treated, and a family is screened. The mission is to prevent CVD events and death due to high Lipoprotein(a) by diagnosing this inherited risk factor early in life, educating and empowering patients with high Lp(a), and having health providers aggressively treat other CVD risk factors in patients with high Lp(a). 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 research and advocacy organization. Learn more about high Lp(a) visit: www.TESTLpa.org
Citations available upon request.