Lipoprotein (a) and stroke
- 1Department of Molecular Pathology and Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College, Royal Free Campus, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG, UK
- Dr Mikhailidis email:
- Accepted 13 December 1999
Strokes are one of the most common causes of mortality and long term severe disability. There is evidence that lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) is a predictor of many forms of vascular disease, including premature coronary artery disease. Several studies have also evaluated the association between Lp(a) and ischaemic (thrombotic) stroke. Several cross sectional (and a few prospective) studies provide contradictory findings regarding Lp(a) as a predictor of ischaemic stroke. Several factors might contribute to the existing confusion—for example, small sample sizes, different ethnic groups, the influence of oestrogens in women participating in the studies, plasma storage before Lp(a) determination, statistical errors, and selection bias. This review focuses on the Lp(a) related mechanisms that might contribute to the pathogenesis of ischaemic stroke. The association between Lp(a) and other cardiovascular risk factors is discussed. Therapeutic interventions that can lower the circulating concentrations of Lp(a) and thus possibly reduce the risk of stroke are also considered.