AIMS: To validate the reported increased atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk associated with very high lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] and to investigate the impact of routine Lp(a) assessment on risk reclassification. METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a cross-sectional case-control study in the Amsterdam UMC, a tertiary hospital in The Netherlands. All patients in whom a lipid blood test was ordered between October 2018 and October 2019 were included. Individuals with Lp(a) >99th percentile were age and sex matched to individuals with Lp(a) ≤20th percentile. We computed odds ratios (ORs) for myocardial infarction (MI) and ASCVD using multivariable logistic regression adjusted for age, sex, and systolic blood pressure. Furthermore, we assessed the additive value of Lp(a) to established ASCVD risk algorithms. Lipoprotein(a) levels were determined in 12 437 individuals, out of whom 119 cases [Lp(a) >99th percentile; >387.8 nmol/L] and 119 matched controls [Lp(a) ≤20th percentile; ≤7 nmol/L] were included. Mean age was 58 ± 15 years, 56.7% were female, and 30.7% had a history of ASCVD. Individuals with Lp(a) levels >99th percentile had an OR of 2.64 for ASCVD [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.45-4.89] and 3.39 for MI (95% CI 1.56-7.94). Addition of Lp(a) to ASCVD risk algorithms led to 31% and 63% being reclassified into a higher risk category for Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) and Second Manifestations of ARTerial disease (SMART), respectively. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of ASCVD is nearly three-fold higher in adults with Lp(a) >99th percentile compared with matched subjects with Lp(a) ≤20th percentile. In individuals with very high Lp(a), addition of Lp(a) resulted in one-third of patients being reclassified in primary prevention, and over half being reclassified in secondary prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean journal of preventive cardiology
Issue number5
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Reclassification

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