If you have a history of heart problems, symptoms of heart disease or a family history of cardiac problems, a range of blood tests are available to assess your cardiovascular health. While this includes analysis of your cholesterol level, comprehensive blood testing is available through Cardiac Screen, as your lipid profile is not the only indicator of your risk of heart disease. The results of your blood check up can then be used in conjunction with other cardiac investigations to aid diagnosis and inform any changes you need to make to your diet and lifestyle.
Cardiac Blood Tests
Excess cholesterol is deposited in your arteries, which leads to narrowing and reduced blood supply to your heart, brain and other parts of your body. Although your total cholesterol level is of interest, levels of each subtype of cholesterol provide further information about your cardiovascular disease risk. For instance, raised LDL cholesterol increases your risk of coronary heart disease, while favourable levels of HDL cholesterol are protective. High levels of VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides are further indicators that you are more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke. As part of your lipid profile test, we also measure levels of blood glucose, as when raised this is a possible indicator of diabetes, which can lead to an abnormal lipid profile. The liver enzymes ALT and AST are additionally included when testing levels of blood fats, as if you take statins to manage high cholesterol there is a risk of live damage, which a liver function test can indicate.
As part of your blood check up it is also valuable to assess your blood count, electrolyte profile, kidney function and thyroid function. A high red blood cell count can indicate reduced oxygen levels in your body, which can arise from certain heart conditions. Alternatively, high or low levels of the electrolyte potassium can lead to a dangerous disturbance in your heart’s rhythm. Meanwhile, kidney problems can increase your risk of coronary heart disease, while an underactive thyroid raises cholesterol levels and an overactive thyroid can lead to palpitations, cardiomyopathy and heart failure if left untreated.