A Danish study finds an increased risk of heart attacks in people whose genes give them high blood levels of a cholesterol-related blood fat, lipoprotein(a), but the researchers say more work is needed to justify treatment to reduce those levels.
"We show that those with the 10 percent highest lipoprotein(a) have a two- to threefold increased risk of myocardial infarction [heart attack], similar to that for the highest LDL cholesterol levels," said Dr. Borge G. Nordestgaard, a professor of clinical biochemistry at Copenhagen University, and lead author of a report in the June 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
However, a large-scale trial is needed to tell whether drugs aimed at reducing lipoprotein(a) (LPA) levels would lower the risk, Nordestgaard said. One compound, niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is known to reduce LPA levels, he said.
"I am not aware of other drugs being developed to lower lipoprotein(a), but I certainly hope that our study will make big pharmaceutical companies interested in developing such drugs," Nordestgaard said. Read more…