Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(α)) is an established cardiovascular risk factor in adults. We sought to evaluate whether raised Lp(a) levels were predictive of a family history of early cardiovascular disease (CVD) in children already at increased risk for premature atherosclerosis because of elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Lp(a) and serum lipid levels were measured in 69 children and offspring with established moderate to severe hypercholesterolemia (serum cholesterol >170 mg/dL) who were aged 10.7 ± 4.3 years (range 1.5 to 21 years) and had been referred to a pediatric lipid center. The children represented families with a positive (n = 27) or negative (n = 42) history for premature CVD (<55 years of age in parent or grandparent). In all children, Lp(a) levels ranged from 1 to 140 mg/dL, with a median of 29 mg/dL. Mean total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels were 234 mg/dL, 166 mg/dL, and 45 mg/dL, respectively. There was no difference in median Lp(a) levels between the children with a positive family history and those with a negative family history (29.9 mg/dL vs 29.0 mg/dL, respectively). In contrast, children with a positive family history showed significantly higher LDL cholesterol levels (186 ± 61 mg/dL vs 153 ± 52 mg/dL, P = .02). Thus, in this group of hypercholesterolemic children, LDL cholesterol but not Lp(a) levels were associated with a family history of premature CVD. Further studies are needed to identify additional specific risk factors associated with the development of CVD in this population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine