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Lipoprotein-a: 3 Preventive Steps to Protect Heart Health!

lipoprotein a: A person holding a woven red heart in front of a white sweater, symbolizing heart health awareness.

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Which home doesn't have at least one person with heart disease?!

Lipoprotein: Unfortunately, we have 4! Between older and toddler, man and woman.. Between who just have high blood pressure and other who undergo valves replacement surgery.

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death globally, killing one person every 33 seconds in the US!

In 2021, About 695,000 people died from heart disease in the US! In one year! It’s about 1 in every 5 deaths…

I am sorry to say, but if you haven’t any symptoms this doesn’t mean you are perfectly well, heart disease is called the silent killer!

Once you complain of symptoms, you are in trouble..

So, you should continuously check up, and be aware of blood tests for heart risk…

Let’s take a look at common blood tests that are used to diagnose heart disease and its relationship to Lipoprotein

Atherosclerosis occurs due to the accumulation of fat plaques in blood vessels.

So, tests that diagnose heart disease or atherosclerosis measure the cholesterol level in the blood. This is usually done by:

  1. LDL test: low-density lipoprotein, the “bad cholesterol” or as we always call it “the evil man”. High LDL means high cholesterol in blood, high fat, high atherogenicity.
  2. HDL test: high-density lipoprotein, “the good cholesterol”, the good man who helps to carry LDL away from arteries, to keep arteries open and blood flows more freely. So higher HDL is better.

Those are the most common tests of cholesterol, But may I have atherosclerosis and seem to have a healthy cholesterol level?!

Unfortunately, yes!

Here another test appears,, it is lipoprotein a test.. Written as Lipoprotein (a)..

Lipoprotein (a) is a type of LDL cholesterol said to be affected by genes, not lifestyle..high levels of lipoprotein a test means high Atherogenic risk.

It’s required when you are in a risk for heart disease like family history of death from stroke or other heart disease.

Studies suggest that Lipoprotein (a) emerged from just a factor of interest for patients with no other factor seems to explain their cardiovascular disease, to a potential role in risk prediction and as a target for therapeutic modification!

Scientists consider the ability to modify and target Lipoprotein (a) by medications is a positive transition in cardiovascular disease management.

About 4 months ago, one of my relatives told me that he suffer from a chest pain and feel high heart rate. As he has a risk factor for heart disease (smoker) and family history I advised him by aids for angina and to see his cardiologist.

When he went to his doctor, the attack had been gone and he was at rest.

 The doctor told him he is fine, and it may be stomach discomfort! And asked him for some tests.

He still worried and went to a cardiologist who referred to the same tests.

All tests were within the normal range!

A weak ago he experienced another attack, severe chest pain which transferred to the left arm. He took an ampoule famotidine for gastric pain!

But the pain continued..

He referred to a hospital emergency unit where diagnosed by angina!

The diagnosis written as “IHD”,ischemic heart disease.

 He is referred to do PCI ( percutaneous coronary intervention).

PCI showed that he has atherosclerosis in the left anterior descending coronary artery( stenosis by 30%-40%) and left circumflex artery is atherosclerotic too!

He now need heart opening surgery to do CABG ( Cardiac artery bypass)!

The question here, why this delay in the diagnosis!!

For heart disease, delay may cause severe manifestations!

He already did tests but what’s clear, Lipoprotein (a) test was never run!

The challenge of Lipoprotein (a) is it packs a six times greater punch than LDL when it comes to atherogenicity, meaning its ability to promote plaque buildup in arteries, the hallmark of CVD.

This makes Lipoprotein (a) test is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of your individual CVD risk.

So, The 2019 guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology and European Atherosclerosis Society (ESC/EAS) recommend measuring Lp(a) at least once in an individual’s lifetime!

 

Is there natural interventions can reduce Lipoprotein (a) levels?

The good news is, research is actively exploring ways to combat high LP(a).

While completely normalizing high levels may be challenging, there are some interventions can significantly reduce them like;

  • Incorporating flaxseed into your diet.
  • hormonal replacement therapy, estrogen for women and testosterone for men help to lower LP(a) .
  • Regular low-dose aspirin intake.

Furthermore, calcium score tests offer a powerful tool to directly assess the extent of plaque buildup in your coronary arteries.

Case studies have shown instances where individuals with normal cholesterol levels but elevated Lp(a) had concerning calcium scores, highlighting the critical role of combined testing for a complete picture!

In Conclusion,

Don’t hesitate to discuss Lp(a) and calcium score testing with your healthcare provider, especially if you have a family history of heart disease or other risk factors.

Working with a knowledgeable healthcare professional can empower you to create a personalized strategy to mitigate the risks posed by Lp(a) and safeguard your heart health for the long haul.

You can communicate Welltopia  to get your online consultation and know more about your heart health.

Remember, knowledge is power, and early detection is key!

FAQs:

  1. What makes lipoprotein(a) more dangerous than LDL cholesterol?

 Lp(a)’s atherogenicity is about six times greater than LDL’s, it provide early detection of heart disease.

  1. How can I lower my Lp(a) levels?

You can reduce LP(a) naturally by incorporation of flaxseed into your diet. Or by hormone replacement therapies and aspirin. You can ask healthcare professional about ways to reduce lpa and to serve your heart health.

  1. Why is the calcium score test important?

It is considered a fast CT scan of the heart or the heart saver test. As it assess the extent of plaques in your artery.

  1. Should everyone get an Lp(a) test?

Yes, according to the most heart organisations , everyone should measure LP(a) once a year.

Resources:

  1. Heart Disease in the United States

  2. Blood tests for heart disease

  3. The time for lipoprotein-based intervention has arrived: where will the light shine?
  4. Updated EAS/ESC Dyslipidemia Guidelines Lower LDL Targets, Broaden Risk Categories

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One thought on “Lipoprotein-a: 3 Preventive Steps to Protect Heart Health!

  1. You have a way of making each of your readers feel seen and heard That’s a special quality that not all bloggers possess Thank you for creating a safe space for us

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