Family Heart Foundation Study Shows Increased Rate of Cardiovascular Events Among Individuals With High Lipoprotein(a)

Results Highlighted in Poster Presentation at the European Atherosclerosis Society Congress

MILAN, Italy--()--The Family Heart Foundation, a leading research and advocacy organization, today announced study results that demonstrate individuals with elevated lipoprotein(a) – also referred to as Lp(a) —levels experience an increased rate of cardiovascular events. While average Lp(a) levels may vary among racial and ethnic groups, the Lp(a) level appears to be the main driver of risk. The results are being highlighted in a poster presentation titled, “Real-World, Observational Study of Elevated Lp(a) and Cardiovascular Events,” at the 90th European Atherosclerosis Society Congress being held May 22-25 in Milan, Italy.

“Lp(a) is rarely measured and the impact of inherited elevation on cardiovascular disease is not completely understood,” said Mary P. McGowan, M.D., chief medical officer, Family Heart Foundation, and lead author of the study. “This observational analysis of real-world data from 253,983 patients demonstrates that individuals with high Lp(a) levels had significantly greater annual cardiovascular event rates.”

Elevated levels of Lp(a) increase inflammation, plaque buildup inside the arteries, and appear to promote clotting of the blood. These attributes can contribute to blocking the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart or brain and result in a heart attack or stroke. Almost everyone gets tested for high cholesterol, but in the U.S. few people are screened for high Lp(a). Testing for Lp(a) requires a simple blood test, but it is not part of a standard lipid panel, and it needs to be ordered directly.

Using the Family Heart Foundation’s large, real-world national database and machine-learning model, the observational study tracked major cardiovascular events from time of first Lp(a) measurement to determine the annual cardiovascular event rate. Individuals having low versus high Lp(a) level were compared across six groups with or without atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), and/or probable or diagnosed familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) using case-controlled propensity score matching. Probable FH was determined using the Family Heart Foundation’s validated machine-learning model.

The poster will be available on the virtual congress platform to meeting participants during the entire congress.

About Elevated Lipoprotein(a)

Lipoprotein(a) – sometimes referred to as “L-P-little-a” – is a very common genetic disorder that can cause early heart disease and stroke. Elevated Lp(a) is practically invisible — often, the first sign of this condition is a stroke or a heart attack. One in 5 people worldwide have inherited high Lp(a), and first-degree relatives have a 50% chance of inheriting it.

About the Family Heart Foundation

The Family Heart Foundation is a non-profit research and advocacy organization. The Foundation is a pioneer in the application of real-world evidence, patient-driven advocacy, and multi-stakeholder education to help prevent heart attacks and strokes caused by FH and elevated Lp(a), two common genetic disorders that have an impact across generations. The Family Heart Foundation conducts innovative research to break down barriers to diagnosis and management of inherited lipid disorders; educates patients, providers, and policy makers; advocates for change; and provides hope and support for families impacted by heart disease and stroke caused by FH, HoFH, and high Lp(a). The organization was founded in 2011 as the FH Foundation. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Juliet Babros

Release Summary

A Family Heart Foundation study presented at EAS Congress 2022 shows increased rate of cardiovascular events among individuals with high Lp(a).

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Juliet Babros