Heritability of apolipoprotein (a) traits in two-generational African-American and Caucasian families

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4 Scopus citations


Heritability of LPA allele, apo(a) isoform sizes, and isoform-associated lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] levels was studied in 82 Caucasian and African-American families with two parents and two children (age: 6-74 years). We determined: 1) Lp(a) levels; 2) LPA allele sizes; 3) apo(a) isoform sizes; and 4) isoform-specific apo(a) levels (ISLs), the amount of Lp(a) carried by an individual apo(a) isoform. Trait heritability was estimated by mid-parent-offspring analysis. The ethnicity- adjusted heritability estimate for Lp(a) level was 0.95. Heritability for ISLs corresponding to the smaller LPA allele in a given allele-pair was higher than that corresponding to the larger LPA allele (0.91 vs. 0.59, P = 0.017). Although not statistically different, heritability for both apo(a) isoforms (0.90 vs. 0.70) and LPA alleles (0.98 vs. 0.82) was higher for the smaller versus larger sizes. Heritability was generally lower in African-Americans versus Caucasians with a 4-fold difference for the larger LPA allele (0.25 vs. 0.94, P = 0.001). In Caucasians, an overall higher heritability pattern was noted for the older (≥47 years) versus younger (<47 years) families. In conclusion, Lp(a) level and traits associated with the smaller LPA alleles were strongly determined by genetics, although with a varying ethnic influence. Ethnic differences in heritability of the larger LPA allele warrant further investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1603-1609
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Apolipoprotein (a) isoform
  • Family resemblance
  • Family study
  • Heritability estimates
  • Lipoprotein (a)
  • LPA allele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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