Cholesterol and lipid testing
Comprehensive cholesterol and lipid testing to help you safeguard your future health
High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. However, standard tests of total cholesterol levels can be misleading. As many as half of people with apparently normal cholesterol levels may still be at significantly higher than average risk of getting cardiovascular disease.
London Medical offers comprehensive cholesterol analysis and advanced lipid profiling. The expert physicians can interpret your individual results in relation to your other risk factors and your general health and wellbeing. This detailed analysis and assessment prevents unnecessary medication, ensures optimum treatment and helps keep your heart healthy.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is made by the liver and is present in the food we eat. Cholesterol is essential for the body’s normal function, but too much of some types of cholesterol can be bad for your health. Excess cholesterol can build up on the walls of arteries, making them narrow and increasing the risk of heart disease.
‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Cholesterol
There are two main types of cholesterol: High Density Lipoprotein or HDL and Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL. LDL is known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol because having raised levels makes you more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. However, cholesterol isn’t all bad, raised levels of HDL can help protect against cardiovascular disease.
Scientific research has helped drive greater understanding of cholesterol measurement and the link to heart disease. Traditional testing can fail to detect coronary artery disease in the early stages. London Medical offers comprehensive lipid profiling, so that disease can be picked up early and treated effectively.
Cholesterol analysis at London Medical
Cardiovascular disease is one of the UK’s biggest killers. Traditional testing can miss people who are at risk of developing heart disease. London Medical provides cutting-edge cholesterol and lipid testing to help assess your personal risk for future cardiac disease, so that treatment can be targeted to prevent heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events.
Traditional lipid testing
London Medical offers measurement of total cholesterol, LDL, non-HDL cholesterol and protective HDL cholesterol as well as analysis of blood triglyceride levels.
LDL particle testing
LDL particle testing is exclusively available at London Medical. LDL particle analysis is considered to be one of the most powerful tools for predicting heart attack risk.
Simple measurements of LDL cholesterol measurements can be dangerously misleading. The number of LDL particles is much more closely linked to your chance of having a heart attack than the overall amount of LDL. That’s because smaller LDL particles can more easily penetrate through the arterial walls forming atherosclerotic plaques and causing disease.
One in five people of the population have a condition known as cholesterol-depleted LDL. The total cholesterol and LDL levels may be normal but the LDL lipoprotein particle number is raised, giving an increased risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
Conventional blood tests don’t measure lipoprotein particle numbers, however nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy equipment can provide a precise measurement of LDL particles, so that high levels can be successfully treated and your cardiac risk reduced.
Advanced lipid marker testing
London Medical routinely tests for advanced lipid markers to produce a more comprehensive lipid profile. Tests include analysis of:
HDL2b - a large type of HDL, which can shrink coronary plaques and protect against heart disease.
Lp-PLA2 - an enzyme which indicates disease activity in the walls of the arteries.
Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Inflammatory markers can indicate the presence of disease and tissue damage in the arteries. London Medical tests for a number of markers including:
Myeloperoxidase: A protein produced by white blood cells that signals inflammation and can damage the cardiovascular system.
F2-IsoPs: Chemicals that can cause blood vessels to constrict and promote blood clotting. They are elevated at the earliest stages of plaque development in arteries and are made worse by smoking.
Expert analysis and treatment
The test is just the first step, the expert physicians at London Medical can help you understand the results, explain your personal cardiac risk and work with you to make changes to prevent heart attack, stroke, and premature death.
Frequently Asked Questions
Research suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet may help protect your heart and keep you healthy. It’s low in meat and dairy but rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals, beans and pulses, nuts and some healthy fats like olive oil, oily fish and avocado. Make an appointment with the specialist dieticians at London Medical for advice, support and a personalised nutrition plan.
However, although cholesterol is present in foods, a change in your diet can only reduce your cholesterol by around 5%. If tests show that your LDL cholesterol is raised, you are likely to need medication, even if you eat a healthy diet and a live an active life.
Dr George Amin-Youssef
Heart failure, valve and coronary artery disease, echo cardiograph. Exercise and stress echocardiography.
Professor Carlo Di Mario
Director Structural Interventional Cardiology University of Florence & Honorary Consultant Cardiologist Royal Brompton Hospital London
Dr Fadi Jouhra
Consultant Cardiologist in Heart Failure and Complex Devices at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
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