Diagnosing High Lipoprotein(a)
While 1 in 5 people or 63 million people globally have high Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), it is missing from most standard lipid panels. That's beginning to change.
Knowing your Lp(a) levels is essential to understanding your risk factors and making healthy choices. That’s why the Lp(a) Association educates healthcare providers and the public about lipoprotein(a) and helps improve the diagnosis of lipoprotein(a).
What are the signs of high Lp(a)?
Your doctor may suspect the presence of high Lp(a) if:
- You have a family history of early cardiovascular disease – heart attack, stroke, poor circulation in your legs
- You've had a heart attack or stroke with no other known risk factors (such as high LDL, smoking, diabetes or obesity)
Approximately 30% of people with familial hypercholesterolemia also have high Lp(a). Therefore, anyone with FH should get an Lp(a) test. Learn more about the links between FH and lipoprotein(a) here.
Understanding an Lp(a) Diagnosis: Gail’s Story
How to get an Lp(a) test?
A lipoprotein (a) test measures the level of lipoprotein (a) in your blood through a simple blood test. It is not a routinely-ordered test as part of a standard lipid panel, so your clinician will need to order it directly if they suspect you may have high Lp(a).
What Lp(a) results are considered high? How do I get a diagnosis of elevated lipoprotein(a)?
Generally, results over 50 mg/dL or 100 nmol/L are considered high and could increase an individuals’ risk for heart attacks and stroke.
The family that screens together...
As a genetic condition, high Lp(a) runs in families. When one person is diagnosed with high Lp(a), it’s time to test other family members, including parents, siblings, and children.