By Gary Merel
Did you know that over 500,000 people die each year because of heart disease?
Pretty much everyone has been touched in some way by heart disease, and the scary part is that many people don’t know they are at risk until it’s too late. How come we’re left in the dark?
“The standard tests belong in the age of the dinosaurs,” says Dr. Sinatra. Standard lipid tests are incomplete, outdated and inaccurate. They ask “how much,” but should also ask “how much of what?” The tests calculate LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), HDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides, but can’t find out what kinds of LDL and HDL you have. Standard lipid tests also don’t measure but instead calculate the amount of LDLs, leading to a high incidence of error. Personally, I would prefer to know exactly how great my risk is for heart disease, rather than a “guesstimate.”
Fortunately, there are more complete and accurate tests out there, such as Atherotech’s Vertical Auto Profile (VAP). The VAP measures 22 different components of cholesterol and can even provide a risk assessment for Type II diabetes and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Most insurance, as well as Medicare/Medicaid, cover the tests. Even if your insurance doesn’t cover it, the tests are only $39. Named “Ten Ways to Live Longer” by Forbes.com and selected as one of the “Five Tests Worth Paying For” by the Wall Street Journal, this useful tool has saved many lives.