Lp-A

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What is Lp(a) Cholesterol?

Lately, Dr. Sinatra has been getting a lot of questions about the very small, dense, and highly inflammatory cholesterol particle known as lipoprotein(a)—or Lp(a) for short. Good questions! Dr. Sinatra is one cardiologist who just doesn’t think that total cholesterol levels are the evil…

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Beware of Elevated Lp(a) Cholesterol Levels

For years, I have been advising you to monitor a dangerous, small, dense, highly inflammatory cholesterol particle known as Lipoprotein A, or Lp(a). An elevated Lp(a) cholesterol level in the bloodstream increases the “stickiness” of blood, and contributes dramatically to the formation of clots…

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Lipoprotein(a) Cholesterol Guidelines

Lipoprotein(a) cholesterol has been of great interest to many of you, and we’ve had many comments posted on the topic. I’d like to take the opportunity to answer a sound question about Lp(a) cholesterol guidelines from a concerned mom, because it is an example of what folks often ask that all…

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Lp(a) and Risk Factors of Heart Disease

Lipoprotein A, or Lp(a), is a component of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and high levels of it in your blood can be a serious risk factor of heart disease. According to an article in the 1997 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Lp(a) cholesterol appears to regulate clot formation…

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Statin Medications Will Not Reduce Lp(a)

Statin medicaitons typically prescribed for reducing cholesterol have no impact on Lp(a) levels. In fact, a study involving these drugs showed an increase in Lp(a) levels! And therein lies the dilemma. While statin medications prescribed to help you attain healthy cholesterol can reduce LDL, they…

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Health Benefits of Niacin: HDL & Lp(a) Cholesterol

You’ve heard me say time and again that reducing cholesterol is not the magic bullet that will prevent heart attack and stroke. I stand by this statement wholeheartedly—but I don’t want you to interpret it to mean that cholesterol is unimportant. Optimum cardiovascular health requires…

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Inflammation and Heart Disease Risk

As you may remember, last week I wrote a blog called 5 Things Your Cardiologist Won’t Tell You. In that blog, I invited readers to ask any cardiology questions they had—and I’ll be answering all of them in future blog posts. Today, I wanted to answer a question asked by Melanie. She wrote,…

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Women Are More Likely to Die from Heart Disease than Cancer

You may remember that last month, I wrote about breast cancer awareness and the importance of raising awareness about this dreaded disease. Today I want to share another message of urgent importance to women: As bad as breast cancer may be, you are far more likely to die of heart disease. Women are…

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Signs and Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is by far the most common cardiovascular problem, but do you really know what it is? You may have heard of the term atherosclerosis, which refers to the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. Essentially, coronary artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis that affects the…

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The Pros and Cons of Statin Drugs

Benefits of Statin Drugs Statin drugs are a complex medication. In addition to their ability to help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels, statin drugs have been known to help stabilize plaque in acute coronary syndromes. Therefore, it makes sense that they have a probable impact on the…

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Is Niacin Effective and Safe? Here’s My Take

As you may have seen, a new report published in The New England Journal of Medicine has brought into question the effectiveness and safety of niacin—vitamin B3 that’s often used to control cholesterol problems. The primary benefits of niacin are reducing LDL cholesterol, raising HDL cholesterol,…

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5 Top Heart Health Mistakes

When someone realizes I’m a cardiologist, they often ask me whether different everyday activities are heart healthy. In some cases, the answers are exactly what the person would expect—for instance you shouldn’t be overweight if you want to maintain good heart health. But some of the other…

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Stroke 101: Risk Factors for Stroke

Strokes go by many names, and there are a couple different kinds but, simply put, a stroke is are a cessation of blood flow somewhere in the brain. The loss of blood supply can last from a few seconds to the rest of your life, and can affect any area of the brain, large or small. In the old days,…

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When It Comes to Cholesterol, Ignore the Fear

It's been a week since those New Year's resolutions kicked in, and I hope you still feel enthusiastic about the changes you want to make. I also hope that one of your goals is to live a healthier lifestyle, whether through regular exercise, a more nutritious diet, or a new outlook that helps reduce…

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Is This Worth Dying For?

Earlier this week, research came out saying that anger and other strong emotions can trigger potentially deadly heart rhythms and cardiac arrest. It was another piece of health "news" that's hardly new--I've been seeing this very thing in patients for 30 years--but I'm still glad that this…

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"New" Heart Risk Factors

The last years of the twentieth century gave rise to a new set of heart risk factors that I call toxic blood indicators: * C-reactive protein, * interleukin-6, * homocysteine, * fibrinogen, * lipoprotein (a) or Lp(a), and * ferritin (iron). These blood elements are helping to explain why people…

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Vascular Dementia Can Happen to Anyone

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. It’s also the month it became time for my mother-in-law Peg to move into an extended care facility (ECF) due to her vascular dementia (VaD). So, what is VaD? While it’s often mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease because mental functioning slowly…

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