Diabetes Self-Management Articles

These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.

Links not loading properly?

Some of our pages use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download Acrobat Reader for free, visit www.adobe.com.

Sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter and receive a FREE GIFT! Enter your e-mail below.

Learn more

Learn more about diabetes

Links to help you learn more about diabetes.

Ask a diabetes expert
Other diabetes resources
Browse article topics


Lipoprotein (a)

A particular type of lipoprotein, or molecule composed of proteins and fats that transports cholesterol and other lipids throughout the bloodstream. Lipoprotein (a) is often abbreviated Lp(a). High levels of Lp(a), which are elevated in an estimated 20% to 30% of the U.S. population, can raise the risk of coronary artery disease. It is thought that high levels of Lp(a), which are more commonly seen in people with diabetes, may help to account for the significantly increased risk of heart and blood-vessel disease seen in people with diabetes.

The Lp(a) molecule is very similar to low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol. Lp(a) is thought to carry cholesterol to the walls of the arteries, promoting atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Recent studies suggest that Lp(a) may also promote the formation of blood clots, which can trigger a heart attack by blocking already narrowed arteries.

High levels of Lp(a) are also associated with diabetic kidney disease: Studies have shown that high levels of Lp(a) can promote the progression of diabetic kidney disease in people who have Type 2 diabetes and proteinuria (abnormal levels of protein in the urine), and that kidney disease in turn can cause elevated Lp(a) levels in people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe that elevated Lp(a) levels may help to account for the greater susceptibility to heart and blood-vessel disease seen in people with diabetic kidney disease.

Although some studies have shown that improved blood glucose control lowers Lp(a) levels in people with diabetes, other studies have not established an association between glycemic control and levels of Lp(a). Because of their high risk of dyslipidemia (blood lipid abnormalities) and coronary artery disease, all people with diabetes should have their blood lipid levels monitored regularly (at least once a year for most people) and treated if they are abnormal.



More articles on Diabetes Definitions



Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.



Fasting for Blood Tests
If you've ever had your lipid profile — which measures the levels of fatty compounds... Blog

Weight and Diabetes Risk
Being overweight or obese has long been identified as a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. In... Blog

Understanding Your Lab Test Results
Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires an enormous amount of self-care and that can... Article

I've been experiencing high blood glucose a lot lately. Is there anything I can do? Get tip