During routine medical visits, your physician may recommend you get standard blood tests to check your overall health.
Blood tests that can determine your risk of heart disease
Your individual risk of heart disease is determined by several factors, such as your age, family history, and other medical conditions. We will discuss these tests in more detail here, along with the "ideal level" for each of these tests. Below, we'll identify which blood tests can give insights into your heart health and when they are useful. When you see a healthcare provider, they may order certain blood tests to help determine your cardiac risk, including:
Lipid profile, including blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides
High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)
Along with a detailed medical history and physical exam, these blood tests can help paint a picture of your overall heart health and risk for cardiovascular disease. Ideal levels are usually set based on large research studies. Since lab values can differ slightly from lab to lab, and because every "body" is different, it is important that you discuss your results with your healthcare provider so you can know what your blood test results mean for you and your health. Based on your age, family history, and risk factors, you may also need additional blood tests to determine your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and strokes).
In people experiencing heart symptoms, different, more specialized tests can determine if there is an immediate heart problem or if there has been heart damage.
High levels are a possible indicator of heart problems.A blood test is typically composed of three main tests: a complete blood count, a metabolic panel and a lipid panel. Low levels can increase the risk of heart problems.
LDL cholesterol test, also known as low-density lipoprotein (or bad cholesterol), is linked to heart disease and clogged arteries.
Total cholesterol to HDL ratio test, calculating this ratio can help determine an individual's risk of developing a heart disease. Irregularities are a possible risk factor for heart disease and other medical conditions.
HDL cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein (or good cholesterol), is useful in protecting against heart disease. It is worked out by dividing HDL cholesterol into total cholesterol. Within each are various sub-tests, which altogether give a broad picture of an individual's health.
The lipid panel consists of various tests used to measure the different types of triglycerides (fats) and cholesterol in the blood.
Total cholesterol test measures the overall levels of LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood.
Tests for triglycerides, a fat found in the blood. Each test for different things, which can be understood through a detailed analysis of the results.
Confusingly, it is likely that the results of the three tests will not be differentiated from each other and, instead, will be listed under one large column, often labelled "Test Name".
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