Effects of age, sex, and menopausal status on plasma lipoprotein(a) levels. The Framingham Offspring Study.
BACKGROUND Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is an atherogenic particle that structurally resembles a low density lipoprotein (LDL) particle but contains a molecule of apolipoprotein(a) attached to apolipoprotein B-100 by a disulfide bond. Because elevated plasma levels of Lp(a) have been shown to be an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease, it is important to define normal ranges for this lipoprotein.
METHODS AND RESULTS We have measured Lp(a) in 1,284 men (mean age, 48 +/- 10 years) and 1,394 women (mean age, 48 +/- 10 years) free of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and not on medications known to affect lipids who were seen at the third examination cycle of the Framingham Offspring Study. Plasma Lp(a) levels were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, which uses a "capture" monoclonal anti-apo(a) antibody that does not cross-react with plasminogen, and a polyclonal anti-apo(a) antibody conjugated to horseradish peroxidase. The assay was calibrated to total Lp(a) mass. The Lp(a) frequency distribution was highly skewed to the right, with 56% of the values in the 0-10-mg/dL range. Mean plasma Lp(a) concentrations were 14 +/- 17 mg/dL in men and 15 +/- 17 mg/dL in women. Values of more than 38 mg/dL were above the 90th percentile and values of more than 22 mg/dL were above the 75th percentile in both men and women.
CONCLUSIONS We have determined mean Lp(a) levels for men and women participating in the Framingham Offspring Study. In this population, there was an inverse association between plasma levels of Lp(a) and triglycerides for both sexes (p < 0.006), but triglycerides accounted for only approximately 0.5% of the variation in Lp(a) levels. Associations of Lp(a) levels with total and LDL cholesterol levels were not significant after correction for the estimated contribution of Lp(a) cholesterol to total and LDL cholesterol. After controlling for age, Lp(a) values were 8% greater in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women, but this difference was not statistically significant. Body mass index, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, use of beta-blockers or cholesterol-lowering medications, and use of drugs for the treatment of diabetes and hypertension were not correlated with Lp(a) levels.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association