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Am J Cardiol. 1995 Nov 1;76(12):928-32.

Correlation between lipoprotein(a) and aortic valve sclerosis assessed by echocardiography (the JMS Cardiac Echo and Cohort Study).

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Department of Internal Medicine, Wara National Health Insurance Hospital, Gifu, Japan.


An elevated serum level of lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]) may be an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic disease, but the relation of Lp(a) to aortic valve (AV) sclerosis has not been determined. We measured serum concentrations of Lp(a) and investigated their relation to the presence of echocardiographic AV sclerosis in residents of a rural village in Japan. We measured serum Lp(a) levels in 347 men and 437 women aged 35 to 90 years (mean +/- SD: 62 +/- 11 years) who participated in mass screening examinations in Wara village, Gifu, Japan. AV sclerosis was assessed by long- and short-axis 2-dimensional echocardiographic views and continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography. AV sclerosis was graded as follows: 0 = normal AV; 1 = increased echo density; 2 = thickening or calcific deposits > or = 3 mm; and 3 = same as 2 with mildly restricted motion (pressure gradient < 16 mm Hg). Lp(a) levels ranged from < 1 mg/dl to 153 mg/dl. The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile values were 7, 16, and 28 mg/dl, respectively. Lp(a) levels were significantly higher in women than in men (p < 0.01), and did not increase significantly with age. The prevalence of AV sclerosis (grades 2 and 3) increased significantly with age (p < 0.001). AV sclerosis was present in 65 (36.1%) of 180 subjects with Lp(a) levels > or = 30 mg/dl and in 77 (12.7%) of 604 subjects with Lp(a) levels < 30 mg/dl (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the prevalence of AV sclerosis in terms of sex, blood pressure, or levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, or blood sugar. We conclude that increased serum levels of Lp(a), as well as aging, are closely related to AV sclerosis.

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