In a study from Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, scientists found high levels of lipoprotein(a), a type of “bad” cholesterol, may be linked to an 18-20% higher risk of heart disease among people who have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a known heart disease risk factor, and lipoprotein(a) is a type of inherited ‘bad’ cholesterol that may also lead to heart disease.
In 2017, the Association updated its definition of hypertension to be a top number of 130 mmHg or higher or a bottom number of 80 mmHg or higher.
Lipoproteins, which are made up of protein and fat, carry cholesterol through the blood. The subtypes of lipoproteins include low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a).
In the study, the team used health data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) study.
The current study included 6,674 MESA participants who had lipoprotein(a) levels and blood pressure assessed
Participants were followed for about 14 years and cardiovascular events, including heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke, or death from coronary artery disease, were tracked.
The researchers found lipoprotein(a) levels had an effect on hypertension status that was strong.
People with higher lipoprotein(a) levels and no hypertension did not have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease events.
Participants with higher lipoprotein(a) and hypertension had a much higher risk for cardiovascular disease events.
The study found that the overwhelming amount of cardiovascular risk in this diverse population appears to be due to hypertension.
Additionally, individuals with hypertension had an even higher cardiovascular risk when lipoprotein(a) was elevated.
The team says everyone can improve their cardiovascular health by following the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8: eating healthy food, being physically active, not smoking, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about 5 medicines to treat high blood pressure, and results showing diets high in flavonoids could help reduce stroke risk.
The study was conducted by Rishi Rikhi et al and published in Hypertension.
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