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Lipoprotein(a) as a unique primary risk factor for early atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease


Elevated plasma lipoprotein(a) is a relatively common condition that contributes to many cardiovascular diseases. However, the awareness and testing for this condition remain low. Herein, we present a case of an otherwise healthy and active man who developed symptoms of peripheral arterial disease starting at age 49, and was found to have hyper-lipoprotein(a) as his only notable risk factor. Diagnosis was not made until years later, after an extensive workup. Upon further screening, he was also found to have subclinical coronary and carotid artery atherosclerotic disease. The patient was treated with aspirin, statin, niacin and angioplasty to bilateral superficial femoral arteries with good symptom resolution. Early screening of his son also revealed a similarly elevated lipoprotein(a) level. It is important to raise awareness of this condition and its relationship to early-onset peripheral arterial disease so patients and their families can be appropriately identified, counselled and treated.

  • vascular surgery
  • general practice / family medicine
  • lipid disorders
  • cardiovascular system
  • cardiovascular medicine

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