The Lp(a) test is used to identify an elevated level of lipoprotein (a) as a possible risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The test may be used in conjunction with a routine lipid profile to provide additional information about a person’s risk for CVD.
Instead, when Lp(a) is high, the presence of this added risk factor may suggest the need for more aggressive treatment of other, more treatable risk factors such as an elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
Lp(a) is ordered, along with other lipid tests, when an individual has a strong family history of CVD at a young age that is not explained by high LDL or low HDL.
Some health practitioners may also order these tests when:
• A person has existing heart or vascular disease, especially those individuals who have healthy lipid levels or ones that are only mildly elevated
• Someone may have an inherited predisposition for high cholesterol level
• A person has had a stroke or heart attack but has normal or only mildly elevated lipids
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