Blood Testing For A Healthy Heart

The most vital organ of the body is the heart and the heart health tests that monitor this organ must be monitored regularly for optimal health.  This heart health article will review many different heart health tests that will guide you to properly manage the tests that are involved with managing your heart health status. The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute; 100,000 times a day or 3,600,000 times a year and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime. For example, a popular heart health test is the triglycerides. Keeping your triglyceride level at 150 or lower is good for your cardiovascular health. Another interesting fact is that having a waist that is 35 inches or less helps keep your heart healthy. To add to that interesting fact getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night has been shown to decrease both stress and blood pressure. There are a great number of ways that one can keep a strong and healthy heart as we will discuss many of those strategies through heart health tests.
Heart health tests come in a wide variety. C - reactive protein is an important test to get at least once a year.  C-reactive protein (CRP) test is a blood test that measures the amount of a protein called C-reactive protein in your blood. C-reactive protein test measures general levels of inflammation in the body. High levels of CRP are caused by infections and long-term diseases. But a CRP as heart health tests go cannot show where the inflammation is or what is causing it. Other tests are needed to find the cause and location. Another very important heart health tests is the Lipoprotein (a) evaluation. Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) is a lipoprotein subclass. Lp(a) is a risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke. The physiological function of Lp(a) is still unknown. A function within the coagulation system seems plausible. Other functions have been related to recruitment of inflammatory cells through interaction with Mac-1 integrin, angiogenesis, and wound healing. Studies have shown that high Lp(a) in blood is a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease (CVD), atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and stroke. Commonly prescribed lipid-reducing drugs have little or no effect on Lp(a) concentration. Niacin and aspirin are two safe, easily available and inexpensive drugs known to significantly reduce the levels of Lp(a) in some individuals with high Lp(a).  When considering a group of heart health tests, Lp(a) shoul be a leading candidate to start the heart health tests order set.
One of the most popular heart health tests that has grown in popularity with physicians today is the Homocysteine test.  Homocysteine is measured in the blood in order to determine if there is an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke or to determine if you are folate-deficient or B12-deficient. Finally it is measured to help diagnose a rare inherited disorder called homocystinurina. It is prescribed when the patient has had a heart attack or stroke, or as part of a cardiac risk assessment. Also when a doctor suspects a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency or suspects that an infant or young person may have homocystinuria. Evaluation of risk factors associated with atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and arterial/venous thromboembolism.
• Aids in the evaluation of B6, B12, Folic Acid, and Riboflavin deficiency
• As an aid in diagnosis of arterial thrombosis and venous thrombosis
• As an aid in diagnosis of neural tube defect (related to folate deficiency)
• As an aid in diagnosis of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and recurrent miscarriages
The most popular heart health tests are the lipid profile. This group of heart health tests includes Cholesterol, total; High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (calculation); Triglycerides; Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol (calculation).  Investigation of serum lipids is indicated in those with coronary and other arterial disease, especially when it is premature, and in those with family history of atherosclerosis or of hyperlipidemia. In this sense, the expression "premature" is mostly used to include those younger than 40 years of age. Patients with xanthomas should be worked up with lipid panels but not those with xanthelasmas or xanthofibromas in the sense of dermatofibromas. Those whose fasting serum is lipemic should have a lipid panel, but the serum of a subject with high cholesterol (but normal triglyceride) is not milky in appearance. The patient with high cholesterol (>240 mg/dL) should have a lipid panel. Patients with cholesterol levels between 200-240 mg/dL plus two other coronary heart disease risk factors should also have a lipid panel. In addition to application in screening programs for evaluation of risk factors for coronary arterial disease, lipid profiling may lead to detection of some cases of hypothyroidism. Primary hyperlipoproteinemia includes hypercholesterolemia, a direct risk factor for coronary heart disease. Secondary hyperlipoproteinemia includes increases of lipoproteins secondary to hypothyroidism, nephrosis, renal failure, obesity, diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, primary biliary cirrhosis, and other types of cholestasis. Decreased lipids are found with some cases of malabsorption, malnutrition, and advanced liver disease. In abetalipoproteinemia, cholesterol is <70 mg/dL. 
The premise behind heart health tests is to give patients and physicians the necessary tools to monitor the heart function through various biological heart health tests.  All of these heart health tests can be found within our site and do not require you to visit your doctor.