Health Tip of the Week, sponsored by Baton Rouge General: The deadly cholesterol you may not know you have

There’s a type of cholesterol serious enough to cause a life-threatening heart attack or stroke by middle age, and the scariest part is most who have elevated levels of it have no idea. The culprit is called lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a). Like LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the “bad cholesterol,” Lp(a) causes plaque buildup, but it’s unique because it increases blood clots and inflammation, significantly increasing the risk of a host of cardiovascular issues. Lp(a) is also purely genetic, which means no amount of diet or exercise can lower your levels. While cholesterol checks are part of most wellness exams, Lp(a) is not typically included. Learn more about this dangerous cholesterol.