What You Should Know:
– In support of Lipoprotein(a) Awareness Day, 23andMe, a human genetics and biopharmaceutical company, today announced a collaboration with Novartis to increase awareness for Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)).
– High levels of Lp(a) are associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke and other life threatening conditions. The level of Lp(a), which can be detected through a simple blood test, is almost entirely determined by genes and is unrelated to diet, exercise or obesity, creating the need for greater awareness.
– With support from Novartis, 23andMe is piloting a new program to educate its customers about the risks associated with high Lp(a). 23andMe customers will be able to purchase a confidential screening test for Lp(a) and will be provided the option to connect with clinicians through 23andMe’s telehealth service, Lemonaid Health.
About Lp(a) (CDC)
- Lp(a) can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. The higher your Lp(a) level is, the more likely this is to happen. These deposits, called plaques, can decrease blood flow to your heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, legs, and other parts of your body. Plaques can grow over time or suddenly rupture, blocking blood vessels and leading to heart attacks or strokes.
- Lp(a) can cause increased clotting, which can lead to rapidly formed blockages in blood vessels.
- Lp(a) promotes inflammation which increases the likelihood that plaques will rupture.
- High Lp(a) can also lead to narrowing of the aortic valve, called aortic stenosis, because of its role in inflammation.3 Chronic inflammation leads to calcium build up on the valve, causing stiffness. This can result in reduced blood flow if the valve is unable to open completely. In some cases, people with aortic stenosis need surgery or a procedure to replace the aortic valve.