What are cardiovascular diseases?
Cardiovascular disease refers to a large spectrum of disorders, many of which involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels, leading to chest pain (angina), heart attacks and strokes. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death (over 30% of all deaths worldwide).
Factors that affect cardiovascular health
Both lifestyle and genetic factors can lead to abnormal levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, CRP and lipoproteins in the body, resulting in a greatly increased risk of life-threatening cardiovascular disease.
- Cholesterol – A fat-like substance that is produced in our body and obtained from some foods. It is transported around the body in two kinds of lipoproteins – HDL and LDL. Reduced “good” HDL-cholesterol or excess “bad” LDL-cholesterol leads to cholesterol accumulation in the arteries, resulting in narrowed or blocked blood vessels.
- Triglycerides – Obtained from the digestion and breakdown of fats in food and making up the majority of fat deposits in the body. Excess triglycerides contribute to obesity and heart disease.
- C-reactive protein (CRP) – A substance produced by the liver that increases during an inflammatory response. Elevated CRP levels can lead to heart disease.
- Lipoprotein(a) – A type of lipoprotein similar to “bad” LDL. It is rich in cholesterol and excess levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
NOTE: This test will be available mid 2018