Background: The association between lipoprotein(a) levels, apolipoprotein(a) size and the (TTTTA)(n) polymorphism which is located in the 5' non-coding region of the apo(a) gene was studied in 263 patients with severe coronary heart disease and 97 healthy subjects.
Methods: Lp(a) levels were measured by ELISA, apo(a) isoform size was determined by SDS-agarose gel electrophoresis, and analysis of the (TTTTA)(n) was carried out by PCR. For statistical calculation, both groups were divided into low (at least one apo(a) isoform with < or = 22 Kringle IV) and high (both isoforms with >22 KIV) apo(a) isoform sizes, and into low number (<10 in both alleles) and high number of (> or =10 at least one allele) TTTTA repeats.
Results: Lp(a) levels were higher (P=0.007), apo(a) isoforms size < or =22 KIV and TTTTA repeats > or = 10 were more frequent (P=0.007 and 0.01) in cases than in controls. Lp(a) levels were found to be increased with low apo(a) weight in both groups (both P<0.0001). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, only the Lp(a) levels (P=0.005) and (TTTTA)(n) polymorphism (P=0.002) were found to be significantly associated with CHD.
Conclusion: Nevertheless, these results indicate that in CHD patients the (TTTTA)(n) polymorphism has an effect on Lp(a) levels which is independent of the apo(a) size.