Primus Pathology Laboratory

4 Blood Tests to Assess Your Heart Health

Last Updated on July 28, 2022 by Dr. Neeraj Gujar

Is it true that your heart, which is often blamed for your unwarranted behavior, doesn’t control your emotions? It is only responsible for pumping blood, oxygen, nutrients, and other substances throughout your body. It pumps approximately 1.5 gallons per minute and beats more than 100,000 times per day. It is super active and can continue to work. Are you taking care of your heart health enough? Heart disease is a growing health problem in India.

According to the WHO, heart attacks and strokes account for more than 4 out 5 deaths from heart disease. One-third of these deaths occur in prematurely-aged people under 70 years old. Your sedentary lifestyle should not be a cause of health problems. That’s where the health tests come in handy.

Stay Informed About New Heart Problems with Health Tests

High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol are all risk factors for developing heart disease. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you are at risk for heart disease. However, blood tests can help diagnose and manage these conditions.

Top blood tests to diagnose heart disease

This test is also known as the cholesterol test and measures your blood fat levels. It can indicate your risk of suffering from a stroke, heart attack, or any other type of heart disease. The test usually includes measurements such as:

  • Total cholesterol – This is the total cholesterol in your body. A higher level of total cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Your total cholesterol should not exceed 200 mg per deciliter (mg/dL) or 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).
  • High-density cholesterol (HDL): Also known as the “good” cholesterol it keeps your arteries open and allows blood to flow freely.
  • Low-density cholesterol (LDL cholesterol): Also known as the “bad” cholesterol. Having too much LDL cholesterol can cause plaque build-up in your blood vessels and reduce blood flow. Plaque build-up can cause severe problems in the blood vessels and heart.
  • Triglycerides – These fats are another type that can increase your risk of developing heart disease. You should have a triglyceride concentration of less than 150 mg/dL (1.7mmol/L).

Your liver produces C-reactive proteins (CRP) as part of its response to inflammation due to injury or infection. You can detect lower levels of CRP (C-reactive protein) by performing the hs-CRP test. An elevated hs-CRP value indicates a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack.

This blood test is very important in diagnosing heart diseases. It can determine your risk of developing it before you experience symptoms. A higher hs-CRP level than 2.0 mg/L indicates a greater risk of developing heart disease.

But CRP levels can temporarily increase in other circumstances than heart disease. For example, viral infections. Experts recommend performing the test twice, one week apart.

It is not possible to find something definitive by only looking at your hs-CRP levels. To get a complete picture of your heart health, your doctor may ask for additional health tests.

  • Natriuretic Peptides Test

Brain natriuretic peptide is a protein your heart and blood vessels produce to help your body eliminate fluids and relax blood vessels. It also helps you excrete sodium from your urine. BNP levels in your blood can rise when your heart is damaged.

People can have different levels of normal BNP, as it can differ based on their age, gender and weight.

Troponin, also known as cardiac troponin, is a protein that can be found in the heart muscles. It is not normally found in blood, and it is released into the blood when the heart muscles are damaged.

Troponin tests measure the amount of troponin present in your blood. Troponin levels rise as more of the heart muscle is damaged. To identify damage or injury to the heart, two types of cardiac troponin, T (cTnT) and I (cTnI), are used. High levels of troponin may be a sign that you have had or are about to have a heart attack.

Some studies showed that troponin I is a more precise and effective cardiac marker than troponin T for heart attack.

Final Take Away

One blood test may not be enough to determine your risk of developing heart disease. If you believe your family history or lifestyle may increase your risk of developing heart disease, consult a doctor and get these blood tests done. And it is never late to indulge in a healthy lifestyle of a nutritious diet, some physical activity, and 7 hours of good night’s sleep.

by Dr. Neeraj Gujar

Dr. Neeraj Gujar has done his M.D. in Pathology from Government Medical College. He has worked at various organisations such as Breach Candy Hospital and Tata Memorial Hospital along with many other private organisations. During his working career, he realised the pressing need for exceptional quality diagnostic services. A diagnostic centre that can consistently give accurate results verified by a consultant doctor (M.D. Pathologist) on which your doctor can depend. This has been the founding principle of Primus Pathology and Diagnostics.

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