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Heart health testing takes new turn

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Techniques to test for cardiovascular disease risk and cholesterol content can be simplified, according to new research.

Scientists at the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration Coordinating Center at the University of Cambridge have said that new testing methods do not require patients to fast and do not measure the blood fat called triglycerides, HealthDay News reports.

Rather, the cholesterol testing focuses on levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, and apolipoproteins, which help transport cholesterol in the bloodstream.

During the study, which was published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the research team analyzed data on more than 300,000 people, of whom about 8,900 experienced nonfatal heart attacks.

The study found that heart disease risk factors tied to blood levels of HDL were nearly identical to those seen when the apolipoproteins B and AI are measured.

In conclusion, lead researcher John Danesh told the news source, "This finding suggests that current discussions about whether to measure cholesterol levels or apolipoprotiens in vascular risk assessment should hinge more on practical considerations like cost, availability and standardization of assays."

According to the American Heart Association, about 37 percent heart attacks result in death.

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