With the current focus on lipoprotein(a) as a likely causal risk factor for cardiovascular disease and new drugs potentially on the market to lower lipoprotein(a) levels, the safety of lowering lipoprotein(a) to low levels becomes increasingly important. We tested whether low levels of lipoprotein(a) and corresponding LPA genotypes associate with major disease groups including cancers and infectious disease.
Methods and results
We included 109 440 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study. For main World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases 10th edition chapter diseases, the only concordant association of low levels of lipoprotein(a) plasma levels and corresponding LPA genotypes with risk of disease was with low risk of diseases of the circulatory system. Furthermore, no concordant association of low levels of lipoprotein(a) plasma levels and corresponding LPA genotypes with the risk of any cancer (i.e. cancer subtypes combined) or infectious disease was seen. The hazard ratio for the risk of any cancer was 1.06 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.97–1.15] for the first vs. the fourth quartile of lipoprotein(a), 1.02 (0.97–1.07) for the fourth vs. the first quartile of KIV-2 number of repeats, and 1.01 (0.96–1.07) for rs10455872 non-carriers vs. carriers. The corresponding hazard ratios for the risk of hospitalization for infection were 1.05 (95% CI: 0.99–1.10), 1.02 (0.98–1.07), and 0.97 (0.93–1.03), respectively.
In a large, contemporary, general population cohort, apart from the well-established association with cardiovascular disease, low levels of lipoprotein(a) and corresponding LPA genotypes did not concordantly associate with any major disease groups including cancers and infections. There is no safety signal from our results to indicate that low levels of lipoprotein(a) are harmful.