Background: Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is an important cardiovascular risk factor in the general population. However, prospective data on the vascular risk conferred by Lp(a) in patients with diabetes mellitus are scarce and controversial. It is not known whether the diabetic state affects the association of Lp(a) with vascular events among coronary patients.
Design: We measured Lp(a) in 587 consecutive patients undergoing coronary angiography for the evaluation of coronary artery disease. The incidence of vascular events was recorded over 4 years.
Results: At baseline, Lp(a) was significantly lower in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) (n = 136) than in nondiabetic individuals (11 (0.8-30) mg dL(-1) vs. 16 (0.8-51) mg dL(-1); P = 0.025). Prospectively, Lp(a) was a strong and independent predictor of vascular events in nondiabetic patients (standardized adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.461 (1.121-1.904); P = 0.005), but not in patients with T2DM [HR = 0.812 (0.539-1.223); P = 0.320]. An interaction term diabetes x Lp(a) was significant (P = 0.008), indicating that Lp(a) was a significantly stronger predictor of vascular events in nondiabetic patients than in patients with T2DM.
Conclusions: Lp(a) in diabetic coronary patients is low and not associated with the incidence of vascular events. Although measurement of Lp(a) provides useful information in nondiabetic coronary patients, it is of little value in coronary patients with T2DM.