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Keywords:

  • hyperlipidaemia;
  • lipoprotein Lp(a);
  • nicotinic acid;
  • treatment

Abstract Carlson LA, Hamsten A, Asplund A (King Gustaf V Research Institute and Department of Internal Medicine, Karolinska Institute and Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden). Pronounced lowering of serum levels of lipoprotein Lp(a) in hyperlipidaemic subjects treated with nicotinic acid.

Thirty-one consecutive unselected hyperlipidaemic patients were treated daily with 4 g of nicotinic acid for 6 weeks. The concentrations in serum of lipoprotein Lp(a), and the major lipoprotein classes, were determined before and after the treatment. Nicotinic acid significantly reduced the serum levels of Lp(a) in the whole patient group. Linear regression analysis showed a strong negative relationship between the percentage reduction of Lp(a) and the serum triglyceride level before treatment (r = −0.78), which implied that for patients with a serum triglyceride concentration above 7.5 mmol l−1 there was a rise of Lp(a). The average individual percentage decrease of the concentration of Lp(a) was calculated after the exclusion of four patients who had serum triglyceride levels above 10 mmol l−1. The decrease was 38% with a 95% confidence interval of 28–47%. The absolute decrease of Lp(a) was correlated with the pretreatment levels of Lp(a) (r = 0.91). Within the whole group of patients there was a linear relationship between the percentage decrease of Lp(a) and that of LDL cholesterol (r = 0.88). This latter strong relationship might be due to an inhibition of the synthesis of the protein common to the two lipoproteins, apolipoprotein B.