You may benefit from a cardiovascular risk profile if you have high risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
- A family history
- Being overweight
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
In addition, you might just need reassurance that there is no cardiovascular risk to your health.
Cardiovascular tests involve a thorough analysis of haematology and blood chemistry, together with a number of additional tests which have been shown to be predictors of cardiovascular disease. Although blood cholesterol levels have some predictive value, in over 30% of patients experiencing a cardiovascular event, cholesterol levels have been normal.
Additional tests to supplement the standard screen include:
- Homocysteine is an amino acid your body uses to make protein and to build and maintain tissue. Excessive levels in your blood may increase your risk of stroke, certain types of heart disease, and disease of the blood vessels of the arms, legs and feet (peripheral artery disease).
- NT pro B NP is made in the heart and is associated with sodium control in heart muscle. NT pro B NP has been shown to be a predictor of heart failure. Levels can be measured to rule out risk of a heart failure.
- Lipoprotein (a) is an independent risk factor for stroke and coronary heart disease. The Lp(a) test is used to identify the presence of Lp(a) as a possible risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Your Lp(a) level is genetically determined (meaning you are born with level) and remains relatively constant over your lifetime. Since it is usually not affected by lifestyle changes or by most drugs, it is not the target of therapy. Instead, when Lp(a) is high, the presence of this added risk factor may suggest the need for more aggressive treatment of other, more treatable risk factors.
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