Lipoprotein (a) in childhood: Correlations with family history of cardiovascular disease

Michele De Simone, A. Verrotti, M. Cappa, L. Iughetti, E. Di Cesare, M. Palumbo, R. Bernabei, T. Rosato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The association between lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] and cardiovascular diseases is well known. Lp(a) is an independent risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. Little information concerning Lp(a) during childhood is available. The aim of the present investigation was to determine the Lp(a) concentration in a cohort of children aged between 4 and 15 yr and to correlate Lp(a) with: a) overweight status; b) body fat distribution; c) family history of vascular diseases in their parents and grandparents. Six hundred and eighty-nine children (350 males, 339 females), were enrolled in the study. BMI as index of being overweight was calculated; the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and the waist-to-thigh ratio (WTR) were calculated to obtain two anthropometric indexes for the pattern of body fat distribution. The areas of visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were evaluated by MRI at the L4-L5 level in only 30 overweight subjects. The serum of Lp(a), total cholesterol (TC), HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides were evaluated in the whole population. Moreover, the same biochemical study was performed in 70 children's parents randomly chosen. A structured questionnaire was administered to the children's parents to investigate the presence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in family stories. Our data show no Lp(a) serum differences between children according to sex, age and body composition. The strong correlation between the children's and the parents' Lp(a) concentrations and the occurrence of CVD in their grandparents suggests that Lp(a) represents an important independent early risk factor for the development of CVD in adulthood. Measurements of Lp(a) in childhood may help to evaluate this risk in subjects with family history of cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-419
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


  • Body fat distribution
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lipoprotein (a),
  • Magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Obese child
  • Visceral adipose tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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