You haven’t heard of the phrase cardiac risk markers like most people. Your doctor probably didn’t talk to you about this topic during your physical. Even if they knew, you probably didn’t. So, what exactly are cardiac risk markers? What should you know about them? What, if any, impact do they have on your life?
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a type many people should try to avoid. It’s bad cholesterol because high LDL levels are a risk factor for coronary artery disease. What does this mean? Your body carries LDL cholesterol in the blood and deposits it on the walls of your arteries.
This buildup can lead to plaque buildup, which narrows the arteries and makes them harden or become blocked. The result? A heart attack or stroke. To help prevent this, you must know your risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
It takes steps to reduce them where possible, such as managing your weight, getting enough physical activity, not smoking cigarettes and eating a healthy diet low in saturated fat.
Fasting Blood Sugar
A simple blood test can help determine if you have prediabetes or diabetes. The higher your fasting blood sugar, the higher your risk of developing heart disease.
The American Diabetes Association recommends a fasting glucose level of fewer than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) as a healthy limit for fasting blood sugar. Anything over 125 mg/dL is considered high, and anything above 200 mg/dL is very high.
A triglyceride is a type of fat that is stored in your body. It is one of the many different lipids that form the fats and oils in your body. While triglycerides are not harmful in and of themselves, certain ranges can become problematic for your health.
This is why you need to know about the five cardiac risk markers: total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
HDL levels are measured by a blood test called a lipid profile, which measures total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Higher HDL levels are linked with a lower risk of heart disease, while low levels have been associated with an increased risk.
Many studies suggest that the ideal ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is 3-to-1 or lower. The upper limit of what’s considered normal is considered to be 160 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). Any higher than this, and you may need treatment.
A lower level can indicate a family history of heart disease in your family’s history. If your level is below 40 mg/dL, talk to your doctor about taking medication that helps raise your level.
When it comes to heart disease, many factors can contribute. However, high C-reactive protein levels (CRP) may indicate a risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory diseases. CRP is a marker for inflammation, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis.
You can ask your doctor for a CRP test to assess your risk level. The tests are reliable in predicting mortality and morbidity risks over five years in people with stable coronary artery disease.
In addition, the CRP test is more accurate at identifying patients who will develop myocardial infarction or stroke than using traditional cardiac risk markers such as blood pressure or cholesterol levels alone.
What does Cardiac Risk Markers test include?
Cardiac risk markers are a type of blood test that measures the number of different substances in the bloodstream that can be signs of inflammation. This test is often used to assess how likely a person will experience a heart attack or stroke, so it’s important for people who want to lower their risk.
Some cardiac risk markers include – C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – Heart Attack Specific Ejection Fraction (HFSEF) – Homocysteine – N-Terminal Propeptide of Type III Collagen (NT-Pro3) – P2Y12 Reaction Units.
How to Take the Cardiac Risk Markers test?
First, it’s important to understand the basics of cardiac risk markers. You can measure substances in your blood, urine or other body fluids (such as saliva) that reflect the heart’s condition.
The most common cardiac risk marker is troponin, a protein in the heart muscle. Troponin levels increase when the heart muscle damaged due to a heart attack or other problems with your heart. It takes about three hours for troponin levels to rise and about 12-24 hours for these levels to return after a heart attack has occurred.
Therefore, you should have your blood drawn within 24 hours of having symptoms from an event where damage may have been done to your heart muscle (e.g., chest pain).
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