Tags: Heart Disease | heart | tests | livesaving | doctor

3 Lifesaving Heart Tests Your Doctor Won't Tell You About

By    |   Monday, 22 June 2015 05:03 PM


Why are heart attacks still the leading killer in America with all the cholesterol-lowering drugs, innovative surgeries, and lifestyle improvements available to fight heart disease?

The answer is simple: There is often no early warning. Heart attacks strike swiftly and lethally, frequently when the victims have no idea they had any heart problems.

Conventional cardiac tests fall short because they are geared to diagnose heart disease after coronary arteries have already begun to narrow.

Recently, however, three tests have become available that may serve as the long-sought early-warning systems for heart attacks, allowing patients to get early, lifesaving interventions.

“EKG’s, stress tests, and even cardiac angiograms find heart disease that is already present, but they don’t identify people in whom it is brewing,” said Chauncey Crandall, M.D., author of the Amazon No. 1 bestseller The Simple Heart Cure.

“In recent years, we have started to get new, more sensitive tests that take our understanding of heart disease to a new level. But they are not yet standard, so insurance doesn’t cover them and it is unlikely your doctor will offer them. You’ll have to ask for them.

“When you go in for a checkup, talk to your doctor about these advanced diagnostics and decide together which might be right for you.”

1. PLAC Test

The most likely of the new tests to become standard is the PLAC Test, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved for use as a screening tool in people with no history of heart disease.

“This is the test that is a potential game-changer. It warns of the potential for heart disease before it occurs,” Dr. Crandall said, who was an early supporter of the PLAC Test and offers it to his patients.

This simple blood test tracks Lp-PLA2, an enzyme that is an indicator of vascular inflammation, a chronic condition within the coronary arteries.

Chronic low-level inflammation, the type that is invisible because it occurs within the body, results in the development of heart disease because it triggers fatty deposits in the coronary arteries.

Inflammation also fuels blood clot formation within narrowed arteries. If one of these inflamed clots ruptures, the result is often a heart attack or stroke.

FDA approval of the test was based on research involving 13,000 middle-aged people and found that those with an elevated PLAC score had an almost-doubled risk of having a heart attack.

You should ask for the test if you smoke, are overweight, or have diabetes, Dr. Crandall tells Newsmax Health.

2. High-Sensitivity CRP Test


Like the PLAC Test, a C-reactive protein (CRP) test requires only a simple blood draw. Elevated CRP is associated with heart attack-causing chronic inflammation and its subsequent formation of coronary artery-narrowing plaque.

A high-sensitivity CRP test not only detects inflammation, but also can be used to monitor how well your body is responding to heart-healthy lifestyle changes and whether medication, like a statin drug, is needed.

3. Myeloperoxidase Test


This cutting-edge test zeroes in on myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme that white blood cells manufacture.

As in the other tests, elevated readings of MPO indicate higher risk of a heart attack.

This test can not only indicate whether arterial plaque is present, but it also can distinguish between older, “stable” plaque and newly formed plaque, which is known as “unstable” and more risky.

“We used to assume that any plaque buildup within the coronary arteries was dangerous,” said Dr. Crandall, author of the monthly newsletter Heart Health Report. “Now, though, we realize that the so-called ‘stable’ plaque is not as likely to rupture as the newer, inflamed, ‘unstable’ plaque. This test can distinguish between the two.” Like the other screenings, the MPO test is performed with a blood draw.

The full version of this article appeared in Health Radar newsletter. To read more, click here.



© 2020 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
Headline
Why are heart attacks still the leading killer in America with all the cholesterol-lowering drugs, innovative surgeries, and lifestyle improvements available to fight heart disease? The answer is simple: There is often no early warning. Heart attacks strike swiftly and...
heart, tests, livesaving, doctor
637
2015-03-22
Monday, 22 June 2015 05:03 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
Newsmax TV Live

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved