Lipoprotein(a) levels are associated with subclinical calcific aortic valve disease in white and black individuals: The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis

Jing Cao, Brian T. Steffen, Matthew Budoff, Wendy S. Post, George Thanassoulis, Bryan Kestenbaum, Joseph P. McConnell, Russell Warnick, Weihua Guan, Michael Y. Tsai

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59 Scopus citations


Objective - Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a risk factor for calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) but has not been evaluated across multiple races/ethnicities. This study aimed to determine whether Lp(a) cutoff values used in clinical laboratories to assess risk of cardiovascular disease identify subclinical CAVD and its severity and whether significant relations are observed across race/ethnicity. Approach and Results - Lp(a) concentrations were measured using a turbidimetric immunoassay, and subclinical CAVD was measured by quantifying aortic valve calcification (AVC) through computed tomographic scanning in 4678 participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Relative risk and ordered logistic regression analysis determined cross-sectional associations of Lp(a) with AVC and its severity, respectively. The conventional 30 mg/dL Lp(a) clinical cutoff was associated with AVC in white (relative risk: 1.56; confidence interval: 1.24-1.96) and was borderline significant (P=0.059) in black study participants (relative risk: 1.55; confidence interval: 0.98-2.44). Whites with levels ≥50 mg/dL also showed higher prevalence of AVC (relative risk: 1.72; confidence interval: 1.36-2.17) than those below this level. Significant associations were observed between Lp(a) and degree of AVC in both white and black individuals. The presence of existing coronary artery calcification did not affect these associations of Lp(a) and CAVD. There were no significant findings in Hispanics or Chinese. Conclusions - Lp(a) cutoff values that are currently used to assess cardiovascular risk seem to be applicable to CAVD, but our results suggest race/ethnicity may be important in cutoff selection. Further studies are warranted to determine whether race/ethnicity influences Lp(a) and risk of CAVD incidence and its progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1009
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.


  • aortic valve, calcification of
  • atherosclerosis
  • immunoassay
  • prevalence
  • risk factor


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