OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] levels and the extent of coronary atherosclerosis in a cohort that consisted predominantly of hypertensive patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were ascertained through sibships that contained at least 2 individuals with essential hypertension diagnosed before the age of 60 years. The 10-year coronary heart disease (CHD) risk was estimated on the basis of the Framingham risk equation. Serum Lp(a) was measured by an immunoturbidlmetric assay. Coronary artery calcification (CAC) was measured noninvasively by electron beam computed tomography and CAC score calculated using the Agatston score. RESULTS: Patients included 765 non-Hispanic, white individuals (59% women) participating in the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy study. The mean ± SD age of the patients was 62±8 years, and 77% had hypertension. The prevalence of detectable CAC was 87% in men and 60% in women. The CAC scores did not differ significantly across quintiles of Lp(a) levels in either men or women. In a multiple regression model that included conventional risk factors, Lp(a) levels were not related to CAC quantity in either sex. No significant interactions were noted between Lp(a) levels and the conventional risk factors in the prediction of CAC quantity. When stratified on the basis of the 10-year CHD risk, 26.5% of the patients were low risk (<6%), 60.5% were intermediate risk (60%-20%), and 12.9% were high risk (>20%). Lipoprotein(a) was not associated with CAC quantity within subgroups based on 10-year CHD risk. CONCLUSION: In this cohort enriched with hypertensive patients, the estimated 10-year CHD risk did not appear to modify the lack of an association between Lp(a) levels and CAC.
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