Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in America. Undetected cardiovascular disease is the most significant health risk today.
Although breast cancer may instill greater fear, more than ten times more women die each year from heart disease. And, compared to females, men have a 17% higher lifetime risk to suffer a heart attack.
Standard cholesterol tests do not tell the whole picture in gauging an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease. For example, approximately 60% of people who have a heart attack have healthy cholesterol.
And, increasingly, general medical consensus views the standard cholesterol testing as only a part of the information needed for an accurate assessment.
Comprehensive Heart Risk-Assessment Protocol
At the Lamkin Clinic, we developed a unique, comprehensive risk-assessment protocol. Our protocol includes diagnostics and lab work aimed at early detection.
Traditional Lipid Profile
This primary group of tests to determine risk for cardiovascular and related diseases is a good start. However, advanced testing may unveil a more accurate picture of total health.
Lipoprotein Particle Assessment
Lipoprotein particle size and number are increasingly viewed as an essential indicator of risk. These concentrations reveal levels of good and bad cholesterol particles and their relative size.
This information is a far better predictor of risk than traditional lipid profiles alone. However, used in conjunction with a standard lipid profile, these add to the evaluation’s completeness.
If there are cracks and fissures in the vessel lining, the smaller particles are also more likely to enter the vessel lining and initiate a plaque.
Advanced tests detect strain or other heart muscle damage, leading to more appropriate treatment for preventing heart attacks.
Specifically, Ischemia (lack of adequate oxygen to the heart muscle), blood turbulence from heart valve disorders, and asymmetries in the cardiac wall motion can elevate Galectin-3 and NT-proBNP. Any elevation would necessitate a referral for echocardiogram and specialty cardiology consultation.
Genetic markers not only help predict risk for heart attacks and strokes but help guide treatment. Several markers help determine an individual’s genetic propensity to form plaque in their arteries develop clots, which lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Inflammation plays a key role in initiating the process that leads to poor vessel health and eventual plaque development. Many factors contribute to vessel inflammation and weakness, some of which we do not even fully understand.
However, we know diet and nutrition play a role. We assume the environmental toxins play a role. Regardless, identifying inflammation is the first step to correcting it.
Most biomarkers are, by definition, are silent. When they stop being silent, often the damage is already done.
Bio-markers of insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control are important indicators that can lead to early diabetes detection.
Spiking insulin levels initiate a cascade of inflammation that contributes to insulin resistance and Diabetes. The insulin resistance process is insidious and takes years or even decades to manifest as Type II diabetes and mostly reversible if caught early.
Overall, our cardiovascular risk assessment includes the following:
- Blood sugar control
- Insulin sensitivity
- Fasting blood glucose
This unique test analyzes the omega constituents of red blood cells providing a longer-term indicator of adequate consumption and or supplementation, again affecting treatment guidelines.
Health Diagnostic Laboratory offers comprehensive panels of advanced tests that include nutritional markers that can help elucidate the underlying cause of vessel inflammation.
Ankle Brachial Index
The Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) is the blood pressratio ure in the lower legs to the arms’ blood pressure.
Compared to the arm, lower blood pressure in the leg indicates blocked arteries (peripheral vascular disease or PVD). The ABI is calculated by dividing the systolic blood pressure at the ankle by the arm’s systolic blood pressures.
Carotid Artery IMT (Intima-Media Thickness)
Non-invasive, state-of-the-art, cost-effective diagnostic tool for the earliest detection of cardiovascular disease.
This non-invasive procedure uses computed tomography to measure the number of calcium deposits in your heart, especially deposits in the coronary arteries.
An increase in deposits contributes to narrowing in the arteries and reducing heart function, which can lead to a heart attack. The larger the number of deposits, the greater the likelihood of a future serious cardiac event.
In-Office Cardiac Stress and Pulmonary Function Test
A technician, under Dr. Lamkin’s supervision, will perform a monitored stress EKG and pulmonary function.
Body Composition Analysis
Nutrition, exercise, and aging have impacts on an individual’s body composition. Body composition measurement with DEXA can look beyond weight and the traditional body mass index (BMI) to determine:
- Body fat distribution
- Lean muscle mass
- Body fat percentage
These are important risk factors in a variety of serious diseases, primarily heart disease. Today’s body composition measurement tools can even make athletes decide on the training regimens they use to achieve the best performance.
Resting Metabolic Rate
Metabolic rate, or metabolism, is the rate at which the body expends energy. Knowing your metabolic rate is vital for weight loss. It’s also important in determining the proper feeding amounts needed to treat various disease states.
The modified “tilt” test is a simple blood pressure and heart rate measurement while lying down, sitting up, and standing. Providers use the tilt test to evaluate and diagnose a condition called neurocardiogenic syncope.
Contact Us Today
We will schedule one hour of face-to-face time with you to review your diagnostic and lab results. This meeting is an important starting point in your exploration of your health.
Lastly, Dr. Lamkin believes the vast majority of heart disease is preventable using advanced cardiovascular screening. Don’t get caught by surprise! Contact us today.