Cardiovascular disease is a term used to encompass a range of health problems affecting the heart and blood vessels.
Being overweight, having high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are all known risk factors but there is increasing evidence that inflammation, high blood sugar levels, and high homocysteine levels are also important contributing issues.
In addition, the latest research indicates that it’s not just how high your cholesterol levels are, but the type of cholesterol present, the size of the particles, and the presence or absence of other lipoproteins, that truly influence your cardiovascular risk.
Many people that have a heart attack have normal blood pressure and cholesterol. The CV Health profile takes a holistic view of cardiovascular health, assessing the full range of markers that can influence cardiovascular health.
The full profile includes measurement of:
- The number of LDL particles – LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. A high amount of this type of cholesterol is considered a risk factor for the development of arterial plaques
- The number of HDL particles – HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is generally considered a good type of cholesterol. Having a high number of HDL particles is protective against cardiovascular risk.
- LDL particle size – Studies show that people whose LDL particles are predominantly small and dense have a threefold greater risk of coronary heart disease. Whereas, the large and fluffy type of LDL may be protective.
- Lipoprotein(a) – High levels of lipoprotein (a) is a risk factor for heart disease especially when LDL levels are also high.
- High sensitivity C-reactive protein – This is a marker for inflammation. High levels are linked to increased risk of damage to the lining of the blood vessels and increased risk of clots
- Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase (Lp-PLA2) – This enzyme appears to play a role in the inflammation of blood vessels and is thought to help promote atherosclerosis. Recent studies have shown that Lp-PLA2 is an independent risk marker for cardiovascular disease
- Homocysteine – homocysteine is an amino acid that has been linked to damage to the blood vessel lining, clot risk and the formation of arterial plaques.
- Fibrinogen – this plays a key role in clotting and raised levels can increase the risk of blood clots forming.
- Insulin Resistance Score – insulin resistance promotes inflammation and drives the formation of arterial plaque. It is also a key risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.
This test is recommended for people who have:
- A family history of cardiovascular disease and want a full picture of their cardiovascular health
- Had a cardiovascular health problem and want more information to better manage their future risk
- Been told they have high cholesterol and want to assess their overall cardiovascular risk