Meaningful Blood Tests for Cardiovascular Risk Assessment, Part One
Michael Gaeta, DAc, MS, CDN
In this next article on cardiovascular health, I would like to share with you objective measurements that can be quite useful in assessing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. These are particularly important, because for most people, the first indication they receive that they have CVD is a heart attack or stroke. Many think that you can’t tell if you have heart disease until you have “The Big One,” but this is fortunately not so. I highly recommend, based on decades of clinical practice, trustworthy research and common sense, that you can take these steps to get an idea of what your real risk of CVD is. Prominently absent from this discussion of risk assessment is blood cholesterol, which is almost completely irrelevant and useless as a predictor of CVD risk. Please listen to my recent interview [link to http://feeds.feedburner.com/MichaelGaeta ] with Uffe Ravsnkov, MD, PhD, on “Revealing the Cholesterol Myths”.
So let’s look at which tests matter most. This is important, because millions of people are living with either a false sense of security (“My cholesterol is low, so I’m fine”), or a false sense of concern (“My cholesterol is high, so I’m going to die of a heart attack”). Let’s avoid both mistakes and do it right. Lots more detail on CVD risk assessment, thyroid and adrenal health, blood sugar, inflammation and more in the very important live 8-hour seminar [link to http://gaetacommunications.com/site/] in Denver on May 5th, 2013.
As established in earlier articles [link to http://gaetacommunications.com/site/?cat=22], the only reason you and I were told that cholesterol is bad, and a meaningful marker for CVD risk, was solely because there are drugs great at lowering it. The truly important tests are ignored by the medical establishment and mainstream media, simply because there are no drugs that affect those markers. The only things that get attention are those things that drugs can affect, regardless of how (in)significant they are. So here are the blood tests that can help:
Cardiovascular Risk Blood Analysis
Here are the tests that evidence and experience supports the use of (unlike cholesterol):
● Cardiac C-Reactive Protein
● Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (PLAC)
● Lipoprotein (a)
● Fasting Insulin
Useful Blood Marker #1: High-Sensitivity or Cardiac-Reactive Protein
a.k.a. Cardiac CRP, Cardio CRP, High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein, CCRP, HS-CRP
Sample reference ranges:
Optimal: below 1
Small problem: 1-3
Big problem: 4+
I think you and I are clear at this point that cholesterol is good and protective, and not the cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is an inflammatory and nutritional deficiency condition. Inflammation in the blood vessels triggers a cascade of events that lead to the formation of artery-clogging plaque, which is made partly of cholesterol and calcium. Since inflammation in your blood vessels is the primary cause, wouldn’t it be great to know how much inflammation you have in your arteries? You can, through two essential blood tests that measure how “hot” it is in there.
The first is a more sensitive version of the standard CRP test. Standard CRP tells you if there is inflammation or infection somewhere in the body, but not where. It measures a protein created by the liver in response to acute or chronic inflammation. It has been shown to be non-predictive of CVD risk. The more sensitive C-CRP is more specific to vascular inflammation, which is the main cause CVD.