1 Citation (Scopus)


Background and aims: Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) is an LDL-like particle whose plasma levels are largely genetically determined. The impact of measuring Lp(a) in patients with clinical familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) referred for genetic testing is largely unknown. We set out to evaluate the contribution of (genetically estimated) Lp(a) in a large nation-wide referral population of clinical FH. Methods: In 1504 patients referred for FH genotyping, we used an LPA genetic instrument (rs10455872 and rs3798220) as a proxy for plasma Lp(a) levels. The genetic Lp(a) proxy was used to correct LDL-cholesterol and reclassify patients with clinical FH based on Dutch Lipid Criteria Network (DLCN) scoring. Finally, we used estimated Lp(a) levels to reclassify ASCVD risk using the SCORE and SMART risk scores. Results: LPA SNPs were more prevalent among mutation-negative compared with mutation-positive patients (296/1280 (23.1%) vs 35/224 (15.6%), p = 0.016). Among patients with genetically defined high Lp(a) levels, 9% were reclassified to the DLCN category ‘unlikely FH’ using Lp(a)-corrected LDL-cholesterol (LDL-Ccor) and all but one of these patients indeed carried no FH variant. Furthermore, elevated Lp(a) reclassified predicted ASCVD risk into a higher category in up to 18% of patients. Conclusions: In patients referred for FH molecular testing, we show that taking into account (genetically estimated) Lp(a) levels not only results in reclassification of probability of genetic FH, but also has an impact on individual cardiovascular risk evaluation. However, to avoid missing the diagnosis of an FH variant, clear thresholds for the use of Lp(a)-cholesterol adjusted LDL-cholesterol levels in patients referred for genetic testing of FH must be established.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Cardiovascular disease risk
  • Diagnosis
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia
  • LDL-cholesterol
  • Lipoprotein(a)

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