Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States and measures to prevent and control cardiovascular disease receive a lot of media attention. One of the most misunderstood measures of cardiovascular disease risk is the standard fasting cholesterol test. As you will soon see, relying on this test and the medications used to ‘control’ cholesterol miss the mark in regards to preventing deaths due to CVD.
Missing the Mark
With so much emphasis placed on standard cholesterol tests, one would assume that the test and the drugs used to ‘control’ cholesterol, including the often prescribed statin medications, would have a lot of data behind them. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case.
The fact is that using standard cholesterol tests as a primary measure of cardiovascular disease risk misses the mark for many people, as 50% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels and 50% of at risk individuals are not identified using the standard National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines. Clearly, standard cholesterol tests miss many people who are at risk and don’t provide enough information to be useful as a means to reduce the risk of heart attack.
The reason that standard cholesterol tests don’t provide an accurate assessment of cardiovascular diseases risk is that they (a) look at the wrong variables and (b) don’t provide enough information to accurately predict CVD risk.
Cholesterol is carried throughout the body in little balls called lipoproteins. It is the lipoproteins, not the cholesterol in them, that are responsible for key steps in plaque formation and the resulting development of cardiovascular disease. Standard cholesterol tests measure or calculate the cholesterol in these lipoproteins, not the lipoprotein themselves; this often provides misleading information.
More than 30% of the population has cholesterol-depleted LDL, a condition in which a patient’s cholesterol may be “normal” but their lipoprotein particle number, and hence their actual CVD risk, could be much higher than expected. This is especially common in persons whose triglycerides are high or HDL is low.
In addition, there are many more (and more accurate) risk factors for cardiovascular disease than are measured on a standard cholesterol test. As a matter of fact, there are at least nineteen (19) independent risk factors for CVD; standard cholesterol tests only measure four.
Advanced testing is available that provides a much more accurate assessment of cardiovascular disease risk. The most economical test we have found is called a Lipoprotein Particle Profile Plus from SpectraCell Laboratories. This is the most advanced lipoprotein test currently available and provides measures of blood lipid metabolism as well as other important risk factors for cardiovascular health, including fasting insulin, C-reactive protein, lipoprotein sub-fractions, lipoprotein particle numbers, homocysteine and Lipoprotein (a) levels.
Using the data provided by this test, we can determine which therapeutic approaches may be most effective to correct any underlying metabolic or inflammatory imbalances which can dramatically lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Contact us to learn more about the LPP+ Profile or find out more here. You owe it to yourself and your loved-ones to get the most accurate information available about your cardiovascular disease risk. Don’t become a statistic; run the LPP+ and get on the right track to optimal cardiovascular health!