January 3, 2010

New Cause for Heart Disease found in Study

Posted in New Heart Studies, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 4:43 am by keepyourhearthealthy

While the buzz over CRP seems to be diminishing, the newest heart screening blood test is turning out to be worth the hype. A British study published just before Christmas has identified what they call the “third type of cholesterol.” The new cholesterol is called Lipoprotein(a) or Lp(a) for short. The molecule itself was discovered back in the 1960’s but the importance of its role in heart disease has only recently come to light.
This new British study has almost definitively linked Lp(a) to a genetic cause of heart disease. One of the scientists involved in the study said, ” This is the most convincing evidence so far that this protein [Lp(a)] is directly part of the pathway that causes heart disease rather than a bystander. If we can target it through treatment, we might expect to lower the risk of disease.” One of the obstacles in making this test mainstream is that they still do not know what exactly increases the risk for heart disease: Lp(a) levels or Lp(a) particle size. There are “small” Lp(a) particles which are believed to mean higher risk for atherosclerosis. In other words, more studies need to be done to further investigate the subparticles of Lp(a). Regardless of size, scientists do know that lowering Lp(a) means lowering heart disease risk. What is the best drug then for lowering Lp(a)? Currently, the best treatment is Niacin which is also used to raise the good cholesterol HDL. Ask your doctor to put you on Niacin or Niaspan so you can lower your future risk of heart disease!

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