Lipoprotein (a) (LP (a) is an independent cardiovascular risk factor that is not widely studied in people of sub-Saharan African origin. The aim of this report is to determine the frequency of occurrence of elevated Lp (a) and possible relationship with total cholesterol (TCHOL), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG), C reactive protein (CRP) and serum uric acid (SUA).
This is a cross sectional study carried out in 200 Nigerian patients with type 2 DM and 100 sex and age matched healthy Controls aged between 32-86 years. We determined the frequency of occurrence of elevated Lp (a) levels in the study subjects and compared clinical and biochemical variables between type 2 diabetic patients and non-diabetic patients. Clinical and biochemical parameters were also compared between subjects with type 2 DM who had elevated LP (a) and normal LP (a) levels. Long term glycaemic control using glycosylated haemoglobin was determined and compared in the study subjects. Test statistics used include chi square, correlation coefficient analysis and Student's t test.
The mean Lp(a) concentration differed significantly between type 2 diabetic patients and the Control subjects (18.7 (5.8) mg/dl vs 23 (6.8) mg/dl, 0.00001). Similarly, the prevalence of high LP (a) levels in type 2 DM patients was significantly higher than that of the Control subjects (12.5% vs 4%, p-0.019). The mean levels of the lipid profile parameters (TCHOL, LDL-C, TG, LDL/HDL) and CRP were significantly higher in DM patients than in the Control subjects. The mean LP (a) levels were comparable in both sexes and in DM subjects with and without hypertension. TG was the only parameter that differed significantly between subjects with elevated Lp (a) levels and those with normal Lp (a) levels. There was a significant positive correlation (r) between Lp(a) levels and TG, LDL-C. TCHOL, LDL/HDL and uric acid. No association was found between Lp(a) and clinical parameters such as age and anthropometric indices.
We have showed that Lp (a), CRP and other CVS risk factors cluster more in patients with DM than non DM patients. Serum Lp (a) levels are not associated with anthropometric and glycaemic indices.