Evaluation Tool Of Language In A 2.5 Year Old Advanced Cardiovascular Testing – Best Test of Your Heart Risk and Cholesterol

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Advanced Cardiovascular Testing – Best Test of Your Heart Risk and Cholesterol

Are you at risk for heart disease? Advanced Cardiovascular Testing (ACT) is the next generation of heart disease risk assessment. It provides a lot of information that helps doctors find out if you are at risk or not.

You know we are experiencing an epidemic of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Almost a million people die from CVD each year. In fact, it is the #1 cause of all deaths.

Nearly 2,400 Americans die from CVD every day – an average of 1 death every 37 seconds. More than 148,000 Americans killed by CVD in 2004 were younger than 65 years of age.

Almost 2.5 million new cases are diagnosed each year and approximately 1 in 3 adults have some form of cardiovascular disease. It is truly an epidemic.

The way we test for heart disease now is by checking total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL (“good”), LDL (“bad”), and the ratio between the two. This method is not very good because it miss many people who have heart disease and lie goals many who do not.

For example, more than 50% of the people who get a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels. And many people with high cholesterol do not have heart disease. In fact, more heart attacks occur in people with cholesterol under 200 than over 300. What’s going on?

The answer has to do with lipoproteins. You see, cholesterol, both LDL and HDL travel in the blood bound to proteins. This combination is called a lipoprotein (lip means fat). When talking about cholesterol, most people imagine it as one piece, but in fact cholesterol circulates in the blood as many thousands of tiny lipoprotein particles.

Every particle has a certain size and in this case size certainly matters. Both LDL and HDL cholesterol come in 2 sizes.

Small and dense LDL particles are worse than medium-sized ones. Small ones are bad because they can easily attach to the lining of the arteries. This can cause inflammation that causes plaque. They make your heart disease progress twice as fast and increase the risk of heart attack by 300%! On the other hand, medium particles are quite harmless.

There are also two sizes in the HDL cholesterol – large and medium. The big one is the most useful. It is like a sponge that soaks up the loose small LDL particles and returns them to the liver for reprocessing. This HDL is a true protector of heart health. On the other hand, average HDL is not nearly as effective.

There are different types of lipoproteins, depending on what fats and cholesterol they carry. Some of them are worse than others.

For example, Lp(a) (pronounced lipoprotein small a) is the most damaging lipoprotein of all, because it makes small LDL particles extra “sticky”, so they hang on to the arterial wall with more tenacity, causing more inflammation and damage .

Lp(a) alone has ten times the plaque-causing power of small LDL particles. Too much Lp(a) increases the risk of heart attack by 300% even if there are no other risk factors. Statin drugs do not help here, in fact they can actually raise the level.

About 25% of the US population has a high level of Lp(a), but most of them have no idea because it is not routinely checked.

By now, I hope you understand that measuring only total cholesterol, LDL and HDL levels is not helpful at all and can be very misleading. As I mentioned, almost 500,000 people a year have heart attacks even though their doctors gave them a clean bill of health because their cholesterol was “normal”. And millions of people with many large HDL particles are taking unnecessary statin drugs.

You must know not only the total amount of cholesterol, but the size and the type of lipoproteins you have. You may have a “normal” LDL level, but if most of it is in small dense particles, you are definitely in danger. On the other hand, you may have high LDL, but if it’s mostly medium, you don’t have to worry about it and you certainly don’t need drugs to lower it.

Similarly, you may think you’re fine because you have a high HDL level, but if the HDL particles are small, they don’t protect you very well.

What you need is to ask your doctor about the new ACT test. It not only measures the total levels of LDL, HDL and triglycerides. It provides the size of the LDL and HDL particles (large or small) and a total number of each.

It also controls the level of Lp(a) and other lipoproteins, such as apolipoprotein A1 (good) and apolipoprotein B (bad). In addition, it also measures HS CRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein) and Lp-PLA2 (phospholipase encoded by lipoprotein A2), both of which reflect the level of inflammation within the arteries. Inflammation is what causes the damage to the lining of the arteries, eventually leading to plaques and heart disease.

Overall, the ACT test provides a lot of useful information that is not available from the typical cholesterol test. It really tells you whether you are at risk or not.

For more information on blood tests please click the link below.

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