Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), is a component of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol levels that are too high can lead to cardiovascular problems and thus increase your risk of heart disease.
According to an article in a 1997 Journal of the American Medical Association, Lp(a) appears to regulate clot formation (thrombosis) and inhibit blood thinning. We know that Lp(a) increases in unstable diabetics and menopausal women with elevated levels due to lowered estrogen levels. This may be why the incidence of cardiovascular problems among menopausal women quadruples.
Conversely, Lp(a) decreases with estrogen replacement therapy. For this reason, it’s imperative that all menopausal and perimenopausal women with a strong family history of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems have their Lp(a) levels checked by their doctor. Further, post-menopausal women with multiple risk factors for heart disease should consider natural, topical estrogen replacement therapy, particularly if their Lp(a) is elevated.
Research shows that elevated Lp(a) levels appear to be even stronger predictors for the development of premature heart disease in men. JAMA reported a study of 2,191 men, ages 20 to 54, confirming this.
In my next post I will discuss the affect that stain drugs have on Lp(a).
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