Low Numbers Of LDL Particles Are Associated With Fewer Heart Disease Related Events

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The most recent study from the landmark Framingham trial demonstrates the clinical significance of knowing the number of LDL particles (LDL-P) by NMR in the management of a patient's risk for heart disease.

This longitudinal outcomes study shows that low levels of LDL particles are associated with fewer cardiovascular disease (CVD) related events than equivalently low levels of LDL cholesterol. The findings confirm that low levels of LDL cholesterol may have limitations and suggests that managing patients to LDL-P targets of therapy may improve patient outcomes.

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The NMR LipoProfile test, developed by LipoScience, Inc., is the only test that quantifies the number of LDL particles (LDL-P). LDL particle information is used by clinicians to better manage a patient's cardiovascular health by lowering the number of LDL particles (LDL-P) to acceptable levels using familiar LDL lowering therapies.

Authors, William C. Cromwell, MD, et al, compared the relative ability of LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) and the number of LDL particles (LDL-P), two alternative measures of LDL, to predict cardiovascular disease events at low levels. The study found low numbers of LDL particles, as measured by the NMR LipoProfile test, to be associated with 27% fewer cardiovascular disease events than equivalently low levels of LDL cholesterol. This suggests a clinical role for LDL-P as a treatment target for LDL management.

The authors concluded that because the cholesterol content of LDL particles between individuals is highly variable, LDL cholesterol levels often underestimate the number of LDL particles and a patient's risk for heart disease. In fact, data from another Framingham population showed that 50% of individuals who suffered a heart attack had normal LDL cholesterol levels. Many patients who are being managed to LDL-C targets of therapy, as established by current guidelines, are still at significant risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this study, LDL-P was shown to be a more sensitive indicator of low CVD risk than LDL-C or non-HDL-C, another potential treatment target. The study reinforces the limitations of LDL cholesterol and the importance of managing patients to acceptably low levels of LDL-P to avoid CVD related events such as heart attack.

Data in over 100 published papers reinforce the superior clinical value of the NMR LipoProfile test. These most recent findings were published in the National Lipid Association's December issue of Journal of Clinical Lipidology.

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