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BACKGROUND: -Studies of the association between the plasma concentration of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] and coronary heart disease (CHD) have reported apparently conflicting findings. We report a meta-analysis of the prospective studies with at least 1 year of follow-up published before 2000. METHODS AND RESULTS: The following information was abstracted for each study: geographical location of study, size, type of cohort (population-based or selected because of previous disease), mean age, follow-up duration, blood storage temperature and duration, assay methods, degree of adjustment for potential confounders, and relationship of baseline Lp(a) measurement with subsequent CHD risk. There were 5436 deaths from CHD or nonfatal myocardial infarctions during a weighted mean follow-up of 10 years in the 27 eligible studies. Comparison of individuals in the top third of baseline plasma Lp(a) measurements with those in the bottom third in each study yielded a combined risk ratio of 1.6 (95% CI 1.4 to 1.8, 2P:<0.00001), with similar findings when the analyses were restricted to the 18 studies of general populations (combined risk ratio 1.7, 95% CI 1.4 to 1.9; 2P:<0. 00001). Despite differences among studies in blood storage techniques and assay methods, there was no significant heterogeneity among the results from the 18 population-based studies or among those from the 9 studies of patients with previous disease. Lp(a) was only weakly correlated with classical vascular risk factors, and adjustment for those that had been recorded made little difference to the reported risk ratios. CONCLUSIONS: These prospective studies demonstrate a clear association between Lp(a) and CHD, but further studies are needed to determine the extent to which this is causal.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1082 - 1085


Aged, Case-Control Studies, Coronary Disease, Female, Humans, Lipoprotein(a), Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors