Importance of Heart Health Testing
Even as young children we are taught the importance of the heart. We are taught what foods can support heart health and how cardiovascular training can improve our quality of life. As we get older and gain more responsibility, life starts to take its toll on us; we begin to incorporate poor diet exercise less, and the stressors of adulthood eventually catch up to us.
According to MedlinePlus.gov, “heart diseases are the number one killer in the U.S. They are also a major cause of disability. If you do have heart disease, it is important to find it early, when it is easier to treat. Blood tests and heart health tests can help find heart diseases or identify problems that can lead to heart diseases.”
Below we discuss what a heart Health test can tell you and what makes it so crucial, according to the experts.
What can a Heart Health Test tell us?
According to the Mayo Clinic, your blood may offer many clues about your heart health. For example, high levels of “bad” cholesterol in your blood can be a sign that you’re at increased risk of having a heart attack. And other substances in your blood can help your health care provider determine if you have heart failure or are at risk of developing fatty deposits (plaques) in your arteries (atherosclerosis).
A cholesterol test, also called a lipid panel or lipid profile, measures the fats in the blood. The measurements can help determine the risk of having a heart attack or other heart disease. The test typically includes measurements of:
This is the amount of the blood’s cholesterol content. A high level can increase the risk of heart disease. Ideally, the total cholesterol level should be below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
This is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood causes plaque buildup in the arteries, which reduces blood flow. These plaque deposits sometimes rupture and lead to significant heart and blood vessel problems. The LDL cholesterol level should be less than 130 mg/dL (3.4 mmol/L). Desirable levels are under 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L), especially if you have diabetes, a history of heart attack, a heart stent, heart bypass surgery, or other heart or vascular conditions. In people with the highest risk of heart attacks, the recommended LDL level is below 70 mg/dL (1.8 mmol/L).
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
This is sometimes called the “good” cholesterol because it helps carry away LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, keeping arteries open and blood flowing more freely. Men should aim for an HDL cholesterol level over 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L). Women should seek an HDL over 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L).
Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood. High triglyceride levels usually mean you regularly eat more calories than you burn. High levels can increase the risk of heart disease.
A heart health test can tell you a lot about your overall health and there is no time like the present to start taking action toward a healthier lifestyle. If you are interested in Heart Health Tests or any of our other Wellness Tests, contact My Labs Direct at 877-355-7978 or visit MyLabsDirect to learn more.
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