Advanced Lipid Profiling: The Truth about Blood Tests for Cardiovascular Disease Risk
By Patricia Deckert, D.O.
The standard lipid testing done in the majority of U.S. doctors’ offices consists of measuring:
- Total Cholesterol
- LDL (bad cholesterol)
- HDL (good cholesterol)
Most treatment is directed at lowering LDL cholesterol. Many years ago it came to my attention that this measurement of LDL was based on an ESTIMATE depending on the patient’s level of triglycerides.
Triglycerides are fats in the bloodstream. The amount varies greatly moment-to-moment depending on what was eaten during the previous 24 hours. This is why patients are asked to fast prior to a standard lipid test. I found it shocking that the test used to address cardiovascular disease — the world’s biggest health risk — is being based on an “estimated” number that can be wrong a high percentage of the time.
It is for this reason that New Beginnings Health Care only uses laboratories that offer a direct measurement of LDL. They also give us a count of the particles that carry the bad cholesterol. This number has been shown to be more predictive than LDL alone of cardiovascular disease risk.
In addition to the particle numbers, advanced lipid testing gives us many other markers that are helpful in determining cardiovascular disease risk. Read up on the markers we find most helpful:
ProBNP | LpPLa2 | Myeloperoxidase (MPO) | ApoE Genotype | MTHFR | Lp(a) | Homocysteine
Very few offices in San Diego County are even familiar with these tests. Few would know how to interpret the results or how to address each one with lifestyle, supplements or medication to offset the risk they present.
We have to remember that more people die of heart disease than of all cancers combined. It is our goal to be a leader in the field of cardiovascular risk reduction by assessing and treating multiple risk factors with the most reliable and advanced methods available. The Advanced Lipid Profile is a standard part of our primary care.