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Certain properties of the atypical serum lipoprotein, referred to as pre-β1-lipoprotein, suggested that it might be identical to the lipoprotein carrying the Lp(a) antigen: Lp(a) lipoprotein. Both lipoprotein phenomena are under genetic control and occur in a certain proportion of healthy people. Pre-β1-lipoprotein occurs more frequently in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) than in the healthy population.

The present study of Finnish CHD patients was undertaken to investigate whether a close relationship could be revealed between pre-β1-lipoprotein and Lp(a) lipoprotein, as well as between Lp(a) lipoprotein and CHD. Both expectations were realised, and we conclude that pre-β1-lipoprotein is very closely related, if not identical to Lp(a) lipoprotein.

If the present results are confirmed in future studies, serum analysis for Lp(a) lipoprotein/pre-β1-lipoprotein may become a useful tool for the identification in early life of members of a subpopulation which is particularly at risk for developing CHD.