Lipoprotein (a): Examination of Cardiovascular Risk in a Pediatric Referral Population.

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DOI: 10.1007/s00246-018-1927-3


Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), a leading cause of death globally, has origins in childhood. Major risk factors include family history of premature CVD, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. Lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)], an inherited lipoprotein, is associated with premature CVD, but its impact on cardiovascular health during childhood is less understood. The objective of the study was to examine the relationship between Lp(a), family history of premature CVD, dyslipidemia, and vascular function and structure in a high-risk pediatric population. This is a single-center, cross-sectional study of 257 children referred to a preventive cardiology clinic. The independent variable, Lp(a), separated children into high-Lp(a) [Lp(a) ≥ 30 mg/dL] and normal-Lp(a) groups [Lp(a) < 30 mg/dL]. Dependent variables included family history of premature CVD; dyslipidemia, defined as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol > 130 mg/dL, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) < 45 mg/dL, triglycerides (TG) > 100 mg/dL; and vascular changes suggesting early atherosclerosis, as measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT). Of the 257 children, 110 (42.8%) had high Lp(a) and 147 (57.2%) had normal Lp(a). There was a higher prevalence of African-American children in the high-Lp(a) group (19.3%) compared to the normal-Lp(a) group (2.1%) (p < 0.001). High Lp(a) was associated with positive family history of premature CVD (p = 0.03), higher-than-optimal HDL-C (p = 0.02), and lower TG (p < 0.001). There was no difference in PWV or CIMT between groups. High Lp(a) in children is associated with family history of premature CVD and is prevalent in African-American children. In children with high Lp(a), promotion of intensive lifestyle modifications is prudent to decrease premature CVD-related morbidity.

Journal Title

Pediatric cardiology





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular Diseases; Carotid Intima-Media Thickness; Child; Cholesterol, HDL; Cross-Sectional Studies; Dyslipidemias; Female; Humans; Hypertension; Lipoprotein(a); Male; Pulse Wave Analysis; Risk Factors


Carotid artery intima-media thickness; Dyslipidemia; Lipoprotein (a); Premature cardiovascular disease; Pulse wave velocity

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