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What is Lp-PLA2?

Lp-PLA2 is a biomarker released by immune cells specifically in blood vessels to cause inflammation. As vascular inflammation is associated with cardiovascular disease, measuring Lp-PLA2 levels is an accurate indicator of the risk of heart disease¹

What is a normal Lp-PLA2 level?

Normal levels of Lp-PLA2 are below 200 ng/mL².

What does a high level of Lp-PLA2 mean?

Levels greater than 200 ng/mL are considered elevated² and indicate that inflammation is likely and increase your risk of atherosclerosis, chronic ischaemic heart disease, and stroke³,⁴. Atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by plaque deposits in your arteries that increases your risk of blood clots. Half of heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels, making this an important additional test for cardiovascular health.

When should I measure my Lp-PLA2 levels?

Your healthcare professional may recommend this test if you have cardiovascular disease or to help assess your risk of cardiovascular disease, especially if you have risk factors such as diabetes, you are a smoker, or you are over the age of 65². Lp-PLA2 can be tested along with other biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), to assess your risk for cardiovascular disease. Your healthcare professional may also recommend a cholesterol panel of tests.

How can I improve my Lp-PLA2 levels?

To decrease your risk of vascular inflammation and cardiovascular disease, healthcare professionals may recommend you eat less fatty foods, exercise more frequently, stop smoking, and, possibly, take statins, which lower levels of cholesterol in your body. Lp-PLA2 levels can be lowered over the course of weeks or months by addressing risk factors²


  1. De Stefano A, Mannucci L, Tamburi F, et al. Lp-PLA2, a new biomarker of vascular disorders in metabolic diseases. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol 2019;33:2058738419827154.
  2. Colley KJ, Wolfert RL, Cobble ME. Lipoprotein associated phospholipase A(2): role in atherosclerosis and utility as a biomarker for cardiovascular risk. EPMA J 2011;2(1):27–38. 
  3.  Ballantyne CM, Hoogeveen RC, Bang H, et al. Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and risk for incident ischemic stroke in middle-aged men and women in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Arch Intern Med 2005;165(21):2479–2484.
  4. Diaconu A, Coculescu BI, Manole G, et al. Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) - possible diagnostic and risk biomarker in chronic ischaemic heart disease. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem 2021;36(1):68–73.
Last updated:
September 23, 2021

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