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Facts About Heart Disease

Risk Factors
  Non-Modifiable & Modifiable Risk Factors
  Metabolic Syndrome
  Learn Your Risk

Medical Conditions

Diagnostic Tools
  Laboratory Tests
  Non-invasive Tests
  Invasive Tests

  Non-invasive Treatment
  Invasive Treatment

Women and Heart Disease
Laboratory Tests

Diagnostic tools

Various tests are used to diagnose possible heart disease. The doctor will usually start with taking the full personal and family medical history, current and past symptoms, doing laboratory tests and an electrocardiogram. Based on the results of the doctor’s assessment and simple tests, he or she may order more complicated tests, if needed. Some of these tests are Non-invasive, which means that no instruments are inserted into the body. Other tests are invasive and require inserting instruments into the body.

Laboratory tests

The full evaluation will include the blood tests to determine the risk of heart disease as well the blood tests to evaluate other systems that can affect cardiovascular health.

Blood tests for heart disease

1. Lipid profile
. It usually includes :

Total cholesterol

LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the so-called “bad” cholesterol

HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the so-called “good” cholesterol


2. Lipoprotein (a), or Lp (a).

Lipoprotein (a) is a special type of lipid-containing protein. Your genes, not diet or exercise, play the main role in determining the level of Lp (a).

3. C-reactive protein (CRP).

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein your liver produces as part of your body’s response to injury or infection (inflammatory response). Inflammation plays a central role in the process of atherosclerosis, in which fatty deposits clog your arteries. Factoring in CRP test results with other blood tests results and risk factors for heart disease helps create an overall picture of your heart health.

4. Homocysteine
Homocysteine is a substance your body uses to make protein and to build and maintain tissue. But too much homocysteine may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Homocysteine is usually ordered for people who have a high risk for developing heart disease or have a known history of heart disease. It is also used for people with a family history of heart disease but no other known risk factors.

Blood test to evaluate other systems:

Complete Blood Count (CBC)
– panel of tests that measures red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Sodium, Potassium levels
– to detect a problem with electrolytes in the body fluids.

Blood Urea Nitrogen, Creatinine
– to check kidney function

Fasting Glucose
– to diagnose diabetes or pre-diabetes

– to detect liver inflammation or damage

– to check thyroid function

How are these tests done?
Blood is drawn from a vein in your arm. Some tests require fasting for 12 hours, but most do not have any dietary restriction.

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