Increasing Awareness and Testing of a Genetic Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide. While a few risk factors (eg, age, genetics) cannot be changed, some instances of heart disease can be prevented through lifestyle modifications, such as increasing physical activity, reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding the use of alcohol and tobacco.1 Elevated lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] mediates myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. Over the past decade, data in subjects without previous CVD from epidemiological studies and meta-analyses, Mendelian randomization studies, and genome-wide association studies have conclusively shown that elevated Lp(a) levels are associated with a higher risk of CVD.2 An elevated level of Lp(a) is a cardiovascular risk factor, but currently is NOT included in routine lipid panel testing or as a one-time routine screening blood test.2,3 As a leading global medicines company, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is committed to raising awareness for Lp(a) testing for all patients.

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