Take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease

Your journey to better health should include taking steps to prevent heart disease and stroke. People at risk for these diseases often don’t know they are at risk. It’s possible to seem healthy, yet still be at risk. But some simple tests can help find out if you’re at risk. With the right information, you and your doctor can work together to develop a plan of action for cutting your risk.

There’s no time like the present to take action: Get tested regularly, watch for warning signs, and take steps to take care.

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Take action - partner with your doctor to determine the right tests.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, so it’s important to find out if you are at risk and to be screened for associated conditions. The tests below can provide early warnings and other information that can help you and your doctor make informed decisions about your health.

Blood Pressure

When fatty deposits (plaque) build up and clog blood vessels, blood can’t flow easily through them. The heart has to use more force to pump blood through these clogged veins and arteries, which results in higher blood pressure.

Knowing your blood pressure is a key step in managing your health. Optimal blood pressure is below 120/80 mmHg. Levels above this increase risk of heart disease and stroke and are the leading cause of kidney disease.

Cholesterol and CRP

Cholesterol is an important indicator of health problems. As cholesterol rises, so does the risk of heart disease. Elevated levels of  “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, increase the risk of heart disease. High levels of “good” cholesterol, or HDL, are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Testing for the levels of cholesterol in blood vessels and for C-reactive protein (CRP) can help evaluate your risk and set goals. A High-Sensitivity CRP test is important because, even if your cholesterol is within the normal range, you can still be at risk for cardiovascular disease if your CRP level is elevated.

Cardio IQTM Advanced Cardiovascular Tests

Measuring Lipid Subclasses using Ion Mobility

The way most doctors test for heart disease is with a lipid panel. It helps detect what HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol are, so hopefully you can reduce your risk of a possible cardiac event such as a heart attack. Nearly half of all heart attack patients were found to have no prior risk which would indicate they were heading toward an attack.

Sonora Quest Laboratories offers advanced cardiovascular tests that help provide a more accurate and individualized picture of risk. The tests look beyond just HDL and LDL cholesterol to identify undiagnosed (or additional) risk.

These advanced cardiovascular tests, along with your lipid panel, will provide more information that you and your doctor can use to understand your complete cardiovascular health.

Lipid Subclasses as measured by Ion Mobility Technology

Knowing what particles make up your LDL and HDL cholesterol may be important. Ion Mobility Technology provides subclass separation that will allow your healthcare provider to identify your cardiovascular risk over time. Following the change in your lipid profile as you respond to diet, exercise and possible medication to reduce your cardiovascular risk is important. Ion Mobility provides the opportunity to determine if treatment is working and if not, optimize the aggressiveness of therapy to hopefully make a difference that can be seen in the Ion Mobility measurement and graphical representation of your LDL and HDL particles.

Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease is both a cause and a result of heart disease, so it’s important to measure your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which is a good indication of kidney function. In addition, a microalbumin test checks for the presence of albumin in urine, a protein that is not seen when kidneys are functioning properly.

Diabetes

Both type I and II diabetes can develop at any age. Diabetes raises your risk of developing other conditions, including heart and kidney disease. People at risk of diabetes should be screened periodically using a fasting plasma glucose or hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test. If you have diabetes, daily blood glucose monitoring and regular testing are important steps to make sure your diabetes is well controlled. Your physician may also use a test called GlycoMark® to further evaluate your condition if your HbA1c level indicates your diabetes is only moderately controlled.

10 things you can start doing now

Take charge - small changes for big results

  1. Get Tested
    Testing gives you a detailed look at how all the pieces fit together. It helps you stay on top of your health and prevent or delay many problems.
  2. Stop Smoking
    It may be the most important change you can make. Daily cigarette smoking can triple the risk of heart disease; however, that risk drops by 50% after 1 year of not smoking.
  3. Lower your blood pressure
    Treating high blood pressure can reduce your risk of having a heart attack by 27% and a stroke by 38%. If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 139/89 mmHg, you may have prehypertension, which is a warning sign. Know what your blood pressure should be and work to keep it at that level.
  4. Eat heart-healthy foods
    Eat a heart-healthy diet low in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and refined sugars. Include fruit, soy, vegetables, and fish that contains omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
  5. Evaluate your risk factors and aim for your LDL and total cholesterol goals
    The higher your total cholesterol level, the greater the risk for developing heart disease of having a heart attack.
  6. Lace up your sneakers and get active
    Exercise helps keep your blood vessels clear, keeps your heart muscle strong, and improves blood pressure. Just 45-75 minutes of brisk walking each week has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  7. Lose weight
    Slimming down can reduce blood pressure as well as help insulin work more effectively in people with diabetes.
  8. Stress less
    Mental stress causes blood vessels to constrict, which may increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
  9. Control your blood glucose levels if you have diabetes
    Every 1-point increase in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) raises the risk of complications like heart disease by as much as 30%, so keeping control of your blood glucose levels if you have diabetes is important.
  10. Ask about statin drugs
    The American Diabetes Association now recommends statin drugs for people with diabetes who are over 40 years of age and have risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Learn more about tests that are important to your health or find helpful information through:

American Diabetes Association
800.DIABETES | http://www.diabetes.org/

American Heart Association
800.AHA.USA1 | http://www.americanheart.org/

National Stroke Association
800.STROKES | http://www.stroke.org/

 

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