What's your real risk of a heart attack or stroke?

The way most doctors test for heart disease is with a lipid panel. I'm sure you have all seen them. Your doctor talks to you about keeping your total cholesterol under 200, lowering your LDL (the bad cholesterol), raising your HDL (the good cholesterol) and the ratios among these different lipids. But are traditional lipid panels and known risk factors like smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes enough to really predict your risk of heart disease and stroke? And what if you've already had a heart attack or stroke? Are these numbers enough to manage your disease?

You may be surprised to learn that 50% of people with normal cholesterol levels have heart attacks. That's why we offer the Berkeley HeartLab advanced lipid and genetic testing. You can't change your genetics, but you can modify your risk factors. For example, the actual LDL (bad cholesterol) number may be low, let's say 100, but the number of particles and the size of the particles that make up that number can vary widely. We want fewer particles and larger particles because they don't cross the artery membrane to form plaques leading to atherosclerosis. You can't determine that with traditional testing. If you KNOW what you're dealing with, you can often take supplements such as Co-Q10, and omega 3s to shift the particles to a safer size.

This is just one thing we look at on a Berkeley HeartLab profile. We look at your risk of developing diabetes; your Vitamin D level; your genetics tell us if you are at risk for aneurysms and Alzheimer's disease. And if you already have plaque buildup, it will tell us if that plaque is stable or prone to rupture which causes heart attacks and strokes. Many patients are time bombs that feel perfectly normal.

The Berkeley Heart Lab Cardio IQ Solution offers a comprehensive approach to heart health. We assess your baseline risk to individualize your cardiovascular disease risk.

We can offer personalized therapy by using your advanced testing and genetics to help determine the therapy you need to achieve better health now and in the future, such as initiating or intensifying medications, identifying opportunities for adjunct therapy, and helping you set diet, exercise and lifestyle targets. We always want to work with your primary care physician or cardiologist, sharing these results, so that you get the best treatment possible. 

We can then monitor your response to therapy.

There is ongoing patient support through Clinical Educators that help patients further understand what their test results mean for there lifestyle and work to help you adopt reasonable and realistic goals individualized to your likes and dislikes.

The 4myheart Program is available at no extra cost for patients when you have testing done. This includes online and personalized support from the Clinical Educators. 

Pictured above are my parents. They will be 78 years old this year. They are still very active and volunteering in the community in various ways, besides helping out with our four kids. My dad has had carotid artery surgery, heart stents and a bypass, plus diagnosed with an aneurysm. But he has not had a stroke, nor a heart attack nor an aneurysm rupture because I was able to assess his risk for these based on genetics and advanced testing parameters. With no symptoms and no advanced testing, he could have died before we were able to diagnose him correctly. 

Quest Diagnostics, who actually performs the Berkeley HeartLab testing will bill your insurance for the tests. Although our office does not accept insurance nor file insurance, we can provide you with a coded receipt for your office visit to submit to your insurance yourself.

Call today to schedule your appointment or for more details....501-228-6237.  Know what your real risk is for heart attack and stroke!

Anne R Trusell MD