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Know your real risk of heart attack

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) transport lipids throughout the body. Their composition changes as they circulate in the blood varying from large and fluffy, to small and dense. A traditional LDL blood test measures the amount of LDL cholesterol present in the blood but not the number of particles. Studies have shown that increased numbers of small dense LDL particles are associated with inflammation and are more likely to cause atherosclerosis than fewer light fluffy LDL particles.

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Researchers think that an increased number of small dense LDL particles could be one of the reasons that some people have heart attacks even though their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are not particularly high. The number of small dense LDL particles you have is determined by a combination of your genetics, your gender, and your lifestyle. Certain diseases and conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure are also associated with increased levels of small dense LDL particles. Check out our blog for more information.

What we test

Cholesterol

Lipids and cholesterol are fat-like substances in your blood. Some are necessary for good health, but when you have a high level of cholesterol in your blood, a lot of it ends up being deposited in the walls of your arteries and other vital organs. Lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and alcohol intake can all influence cholesterol levels and your risk of developing heart disease.

This blood test measures:

High total cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

The main storage form of fatty acids in the body. Elevated triglyceride levels may contribute to hardening of the arteries, and increase the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Very low density lipoprotein is a type of "bad cholesterol" because it helps cholesterol build up on the walls of arteries. VLDL cholesterol is linked with type III dyslipidaemia and associated hyperlipoproteinaemias.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called ‘good cholesterol’ and is protective against atherosclerosis.

IDL

Intermediate Density Lipoprotein (IDL) is a class of lipoproteins formed in the degradation of VLDLs. IDL cholesterol is linked with type III dyslipidaemia and associated hyperlipoproteinaemias.

This blood test measures:

Intermediate Density Lipoprotein is a class of lipoproteins formed in the degradation of VLDLs.

Intermediate Density Lipoprotein is a class of lipoproteins formed in the degradation of VLDLs.

Intermediate Density Lipoprotein is a class of lipoproteins formed in the degradation of VLDLs.

Large LDL

Large buoyant less atherogenic Low Density Lipoprotein 1 and 2 are associated with average coronary artery disease risk.

This blood test measures:

Large buoyant less atherogenic Low Density Lipoprotein 1 and 2 are associated with average coronary artery disease risk.

Large buoyant less atherogenic Low Density Lipoprotein 1 and 2 are associated with average coronary artery disease risk.

Small Dense LDL

Studies have shown that increased numbers of small dense LDL particles are associated with inflammation and are more likely to cause atherosclerosis than fewer light fluffy LDL particles.

This blood test measures:

Presence of small highly atherogenic dense Low Density Lipoprotein 3 through 7 are associated with 3 times greater risk for coronary artery disease independent of other risk factors.

Presence of small highly atherogenic dense Low Density Lipoprotein 3 through 7 are associated with 3 times greater risk for coronary artery disease independent of other risk factors.

Presence of small highly atherogenic dense Low Density Lipoprotein 3 through 7 are associated with 3 times greater risk for coronary artery disease independent of other risk factors.

Presence of small highly atherogenic dense Low Density Lipoprotein 3 through 7 are associated with 3 times greater risk for coronary artery disease independent of other risk factors.

Presence of small highly atherogenic dense Low Density Lipoprotein 3 through 7 are associated with 3 times greater risk for coronary artery disease independent of other risk factors.

Small dense LDL is comprised of the sum of the cholesterol in the LDL-3 to LDL-7 subfractions.

Lipoprotein (a)

High levels of Lp(a) increase your risk of atherosclerosis and is an inherited genetic condition.

This blood test measures:

High levels of Lp(a) increase your risk of atherosclerosis and is an inherited genetic condition. As levels are genetically determined they are usually not lowered by lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Your level of Lp(a) remains virtually constant throughout your life.

Lipid Subfractions Summary
This blood test measures:

A low LDL mean particle size indicates the presence of LDLs of a size capable of penetrating the endothelial lining and causing the development of atheromatous plaques.

Risk is based on mean LDL particle size. Note that risk factors other than mean particle size may still require medical intervention.

There is some evidence to suggest that the number of LDL peaks may be more important than the size of the peak. More than 1 LDL peak may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Test instructions

Fast from all food and drink other than water for at least 8 hours, and no more than 12 hours prior to your test.

You’ll receive your blood test kit in the mail, along with logistics for your sample collection. Prepaid postage and packaging is included.

Results for this test available in 1-2 weeks and will be published in your online dashboard.

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