Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol.

Lp(a) (Lipoprotein[a]) Concentrations and Incident Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease New Insights from a Large National Biobank

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OBJECTIVE: Lp(a) (lipoprotein[a]) concentrations are associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), and new therapies that enable potent and specific reduction are in development. In the largest study conducted to date, we address 3 areas of uncertainty: (1) the magnitude and shape of ASCVD risk conferred across the distribution of lipoprotein(a) concentrations; (2) variation of risk across racial and clinical subgroups; (3) clinical importance of a high lipoprotein(a) threshold to guide therapy. APPROACH AND RESULTS: Relationship of lipoprotein(a) to incident ASCVD was studied in 460 506 middle-aged UK Biobank participants. Over a median follow-up of 11.2 years, incident ASCVD occurred in 22 401 (4.9%) participants. Median lipoprotein(a) concentration was 19.6 nmol/L (25th-75th percentile 7.6-74.8). The relationship between lipoprotein(a) and ASCVD appeared linear across the distribution, with a hazard ratio of 1.11 (95% CI, 1.10-1.12) per 50 nmol/L increment. Substantial differences in concentrations were noted according to race-median values for white, South Asian, black, and Chinese individuals were 19, 31, 75, and 16 nmol/L, respectively. However, risk per 50 nmol/L appeared similar-hazard ratios of 1.11, 1.10, and 1.07 for white, South Asian, and black individuals, respectively. A high lipoprotein(a) concentration defined as ≥150 nmol/L was present in 12.2% of those without and 20.3% of those with preexisting ASCVD and associated with hazard ratios of 1.50 (95% CI, 1.44-1.56) and 1.16 (95% CI, 1.05-1.27), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Lipoprotein(a) concentrations predict incident ASCVD among middle-aged adults within primary and secondary prevention contexts, with a linear risk gradient across the distribution. Concentrations are variable across racial subgroups, but the associated risk appears similar