Lipoprotein (a): Impact by ethnicity and environmental and medical conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Levels of lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)], a complex between an LDL-like lipid moiety containing one copy of apoB, and apo(a), a plasminogen-derived carbohydrate-rich hydrophilic protein, are primarily genetically regulated. Although stable intra-individually, Lp(a) levels have a skewed distribution inter-individually and are strongly impacted by a size polymorphism of the LPA gene, resulting in a variable number of kringle IV (KIV) units, a key motif of apo(a). The variation in KIV units is a strong predictor of plasma Lp(a) levels resulting in stable plasma levels across the lifespan. Studies have demonstrated pronounced differences across ethnicities with regard to Lp(a) levels and some of this difference, but not all of it, can be explained by genetic variations across ethnic groups. Increasing evidence suggests that age, sex, and hormonal impact may have a modest modulatory influence on Lp(a) levels. Among clinical conditions, Lp(a) levels are reported to be affected by kidney and liver diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1125
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Apolipoprotein (a) size
  • Demographic and clinical characteristics
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Kidney and liver disease
  • Supplementary key words populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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