Objectives: This study was undertaken to determine whether lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is an independent risk factor for ischemic heart disease (IHD) and to establish the relation of Lp(a) to the other lipid fractions.
Background: Several, but not all, studies have shown that elevated Lp(a) concentrations may be associated with IHD; very few have been prospective.
Methods: A 5-year prospective follow-up study was conducted in 2,156 French Canadian men 47 to 76 years old, without clinical evidence of IHD. Lipid measurements obtained at baseline included total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, apoprotein B and Lp(a). During the follow-up period, there were 116 first IHD events (myocardial infarction, angina, death). Adjusted proportional hazards models were used to estimate the relative risk for the different variables. The cohort was also classified according to Lp(a) levels and other lipid risk factor tertiles to evaluate the relation of elevated Lp(a) levels to these risk factors. A cutoff value of 30 mg/dl was used for Lp(a). Risk ratios were calculated using the group with low Lp(a) levels and the first tertile of lipid measures as a reference.
Results: Lp(a) was not an independent risk factor for IHD but seemed to increase the deleterious effects of mildly elevated LDL cholesterol and elevated total cholesterol and apoprotein B levels and seemed to counteract the beneficial effects associated with elevated HDL cholesterol levels.
Conclusions: In this cohort, Lp(a) was not an independent risk factor for IHD but appeared to increase the risk associated with other lipid risk factors.