For the better part of 3 decades, scientists have believed that the relationship between two kinds of cholesterol in the blood can demonstrate likelihood for developing heart disease.
However, just looking at HDL and LDL cholesterol levels isn’t always a reliable indicator for whether or not someone will develop blockages, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) that can lead to heart attack and stroke.
A new and highly advanced test seeks to drill down even further to look at why sometimes people still develop problems despite having a favorable HDL/LDL ratio.
A specialized test looking at HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the blood is aimed at identifying more than just the ratio of good to bad cholesterol.
The test, called the NMR LipoProfile(R) test, doesn’t just look at HDL levels compared to LDL (bad cholesterol). Rather, it looks specifically at the kinds of HDL particles.
It’s been seen for years that people with very good overall ratios of HDL to LDL numbers still wind up with heart disease that leads to heart attack. These patients seemed to defy the conventional theory that getting good cholesterol numbers up and bad numbers down was all that was needed.
However, there are a variety of different HDL particles, and the ratio within the HDL class is what seems to be the determining factor of ideal cholesterol health.
LipoScience, the company that developed the test, theorizes that knowing the specific HDL particle ratio will help doctors and patients to come up with a more specialized…and likely more effective…treatment plan for getting cholesterol under control to prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Whether this is true or just another way to get more money for more tests… well, time will be the judge.
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