50% of patients who have a heart attack or stroke have normal cholesterol levels.
So, what is driving these events? Researchers now understand that events happen because of inflammation in the artery. Measuring cholesterol without inflammation or measuring inflammation without cholesterol may tell only half the story.
Cholesterol testing provides part of the picture. Inflammation Testing provides a more complete picture of your risk for heart disease.
Are You At Risk for Heart Disease?
The American Heart Association (AHA) has identified the following risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Age- Your risk increases as you get older.
- Gender-Men are at higher risk if over 45 years of age and women if over 55 years of age.
- Family History-Your risk is higher if members of your family have had cardiovascular disease (heart attack, bypass surgery, a stent, or stroke) at a young age; before 55 years for men or before age 65 for women.
- High Blood Pressure-Know your blood pressure.Ideally it should be less than 120/80 mm Hg when you are at rest, although somewhat higher levels are often OK with your doctor when you're older.
- High Blood Cholesterol-Your risk for heart attack is lower if your LDL-cholesterol is less than 1000 mg/dL and your non-HDL-cholesterol is less than 130 mg/dL.
- Physical Inactivity-Sitting for long periods of time increases your risk. Even moving around for 5-10 minute periods throughout the day can lower heart attack risk.
- Obesity and Overweight-Risk for kisease is related to those extra pounds around your waist line. Losing 5-10% of your body weight reduces health risk.
- Smoking-Research has shown that every 5 cigarettes a day smoked increases heart attack risk. Quitting smoking reduces heart attack risk immediately.
- Diabetes-It is very important to know your blood sugar level. Normal blood sugar levels are under 100 mg/dL.
If you have risk factors, you should consider inflammation testing. Cleveland HeartLab offers simple blood and urine testing that provides you and your doctor information that can be used to determine if you are at risk or if you have disease present.
Are You At Risk For a Heart Attack or Stroke?
These tests can help to determine your risk.
Elevated results on these tests may mean that you are actively growing plaque in your arteries or you are at a higher risk of plaque rupture that may lead to heart attack or stroke.
The following blood and urine tests may help you and your doctor know your risk for developing heart disease.
- F2-Isoprostanes (F2-IsoPs)
- Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein (OxLdl)
- High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP)
- Lp-PLA2 Activity
- Myeloperoxidase (MPO)
Once you know your risk, you can take Action!
Ask your doctor about inflammation testing from Cleveland HeartLab.