What to test to assess your cholesterol levels
More extensive than standard testing is done to verify and validate risk of atherosclerosis so that it can be managed appropriately through diet, lifestyle, and/or medication.
The most useful tests for long-term risk of heart attack and stroke
ApoB or NMR lipoprofile testing (for LDL-p value), and Lp(a). HS-CRP is also useful for inflammation.
More information on these tests and their target values are available in our Part 4 video blog in this series.
Why we test for cholesterol
These value are important because they tell us if there is inflammation present, and the number of LDL particles, rather than the sheer amount of cholesterol the LDL particles are carrying. This matters because the higher the number of LDL particles present, the more “pressure” there is to drive the particles into the sub-endothelial space. (Where atherosclerosis is)
What do the cholesterol tests mean
These are currently not tests that are performed by your medical doctor as standard of care, but that they may be able to order if you ask. These tests also do not tell you your current risk of cardiovascular event (like a carotid Doppler, or endothelial calcium measurement) but rather your metabolic state, and whether it’s contributing to atherosclerosis or not.
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