What are Berkeley profiles and how does it determine my risk of Heart Disease?

Dr. Trussell practiced internal medicine for 20 years before she turned her focus to Sei Bella Med Spa where the motto is Health|Wellness|Beauty. In the endeavor to make you beautiful on the outside and healthy on the inside, Dr. Trussell offers the Berkeley Advanced Lipid and Genetic Testing Program. 

Heart disease kills 1 in 3 Americans. When statin medications like Pravachol, Crestor, and Zocor became available, we were able to lower cholesterol dramatically. However, heart attacks and strokes are still occurring at a rate of about 70% of what they did in 2000. Last year there were 1,300,000 heart attacks in the U.S. and 800,000 strokes. 153,000 of the deaths that occurred were in people younger than 65 years of age. More than 60% of sudden cardiac deaths had no prior history of cardiovascular disease. Traditionally, risk of developing cardiovascular disease has been determined with a standard calculation of cholesterol, triglycerides,  LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the last two being known respectively as the bad and the good cholesterol. However, only 50% of coronary artery disease is associated with high cholesterol or any of the six additional classic risk factors: advanced age, male gender, positive family history of premature heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking. Obviously, today's routine cholesterol tests are failing to identify the vast majority of people at risk for heart attacks. Looking at good and bad cholesterol calculations simply is not enough.

Fortunately, there is more that can be done to assess your risk. We also can create a comprehensive and personalized plan for each individual, assessing a variety of risk markers as well as environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors that may contribute to heart disease progression. With this additional information, we can make more refined decisions regarding treatment options and the prevention of heart disease.

Personalized Care

The 4myheart Program provided by Berkeley Labs provides personalized care to help improve and maintain heart health. Enrollment in the 4myheart Program is available at no additional cost or obligation to those who have their full panel of Berkeley labs done and consult with Dr. Trussell.  Using the test results and the doctor's treatment plan, a Clinical Educator provides information to further address each patient's risk for heart disease and stroke.
The 4myheart Program offers a personal touch through individual and online education, and many patients have seen impressive results in terms of cardiovascular risk reduction. Clinical Educators can instruct patients in the following areas:

  • Nutrition Choices: Eating the right type and portions of foods that you actually LIKE to eat!
  • Physical Activity: Choosing the appropriate frequency, intensity, and type of exercise
  • Stress Management: Learning and practicing stress-relief techniques
  • Medication Adherence: Discussing how they work, why they are needed, and how to minimize or prevent side-effects
  • access including heart-healthy recipes, 4myheart Team challenges, and much more!

What kind of tests are on the Berkeley profile?

We will first check your genetic profile to see if you are at increased risk for heart disease or stroke, regardless of what your other labs may show. This genetic testing also tells us if you are at increased risk for atrial fibrillation, whether certain medications would even be beneficial for you, and whether or not you metabolize certain medications correctly. Obviously you can't change your genetics, but you can be prepared for them! Your genetic testing is only done once.

Other labs are called biomarkers. These labs, if abnormal, can be modified with diet, exercise, medications and other lifestyle changes. The advanced lipid testing assesses not just the LDL number per se but also particle size, which is a much better predictor of risk. We also check for other more advanced lipids like APoB and Lp (a) which have also been associated with heart attacks and strokes.

And finally we look at inflammatory markers like hs-CRP and Lp-PLA2 (PLAC). Inflammation plays a huge role in the development of cardiovascular disease. Elevated inflammatory markers mean plaque is actively forming in your arteries which leads directly to heart attacks and strokes.  

Dr. Trussell will tell you how often the biomarker labs should be checked, which is usually one to three times a year. 


What is the cost?

Your lab work will be billed directly to your insurance company by Quest Diagnostics who actually performs the Berkeley Heart Lab testing, as long as you provide proper insurance information when your lab is drawn at Dr. Trussell's office. You will then receive a bill for any remaining balance directly from Quest Diagnostics. 

Dr. Trussell's consult fee is $150. Dr. Trussell is NOT a provider on any insurance plan and will NOT file your insurance for this fee. You may obtain a receipt from our office that you can in turn submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

As stated above, the 4myheart program is free to all who have their Berkeley testing and have their followup consult with Dr. Trussell. This is a very valuable resource and you are encouraged to take advantage of this program!

Call us today for your appointment! 501-228-6237