Of the 800,000 Americans who suffer a heart attack and the 700,000 who suffer a stroke each year, approximately 50% have NO evidence of high cholesterol. In fact, 15- 20% of these events occur in people with NO TRADITIONAL cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Traditional risk factors include: high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, diabetes, smoking, obesity, being post-menopausal for women and being older than 45 for men. These are the risk factors that doctors generally look for when they discuss your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
These statistics have led to the search for more sensitive tests to determine who is at risk. Newer “markers” of risk for CVD include high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), non-HDL cholesterol, LDL particle number and size, lipoprotein (a), apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I), apolipoprotein B (apo B), and homocysteine.
At RESTORE Center for Integrative Medicine, we know the research supporting this newer testing in certain high risk populations and offer advanced lipid tests such as the CardioMetabolic Assessment from Spectracell Laboratories. Currently there is not enough data to support widespread advanced lipid testing. However, in a select population such as those with normal or low LDL who have cardiovascular events or a strong family history of cardiovascular events, testing may predict events. Further, testing may help increase live saving lifestyle changes: weight loss, exercise, and heart healthy diet all improve lipoprotein composition and decrease apo B.
Learn more on our website by clicking on the “Testing” button. Educating the public about the latest scientific evidence behind true risk assessment is our priority at RESTORE.