Cardio Check

Cardio Check

The Cardio Check Profile is an advanced blood assessment of lipids and cardiometabolic analytes.

The World Health Organisation recognises heart disease and stroke as the leading causes of death globally (Ref).  So when should you do your first cardiac health screen? Advice about the time to start testing your cardiac markers varies between expert organisations, and some recommend screening as early as 20 years old. Patients with one or more risk factors may have more frequent screening and have their first test at a younger age. (Ref)

The standard lipid panel is often the only laboratory markers a doctor will order to assess cardiovascular risk. This is usually total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and total:HDL ratio. However, an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that  although hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels) is important in approximately 50% of patients with cardiovascular disease, other factors need to be taken into consideration.

Atherosclerosis, now widely accepted to be an inflammatory disease, does not result simply from the accumulation of lipids. (Ref) Numerous studies have been published on multiple valuable markers of risk assessment. Advanced cardiovascular panels may provide more clinical insight and help tailor therapies.

Nearly 50% of all heart attack victims have normal levels of typical markers for CVD, including total cholesterol. 

This advanced blood assessment of lipids and cardiometabolic markers provides insight into risk of heart disease. Combining the best of conventional NHS and functional laboratory biomarkers, the Cardio Check Profile evaluates much more than just cholesterol and triglyceride levels to assess your cardio risk.

At Smart Nutrition we pride ourselves in offering the best cost possible for the Cardio Check test.

  • Increasing age
  • Family history of early cardiovascular disease
  • High cholesterol from a prior test
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes or prediabetes
  • Overweight or obese
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Not enough physical activity

Lipids: 
LDL-C (low density lipoprotein) is the form of cholesterol that most of us have heard about – “bad cholesterol” which can deposit in plaques and is the main target of cholesterol-lowering therapy.
HDL-C (high density lipoprotein), known as “good cholesterol”, carries “bad cholesterol” ad way from the arteries and back to the liver, from where it can then be excreted as bile.
Triglycerides (TG), the most common type of fat in the body, have the function of storing excess energy from the diet. Triglycerides are a well-established marker of cardiovascular disease risk.
Total Cholesterol (TC) includes HDL, LDL and VLDL – very low density lipoprotein, produced by the liver to supply tissues with triglycerides.

Lipoproteins:
Apo A-1 is the main structural component of HDL and assists in reverse cholesterol transport.
Apo B is the main component of atherogenic lipoprotein particles.
The Apo B/Apo A-1 Ratio has been shown in multiple studies to have high predictive ability for metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, heart attack and early atherosclerosis.
Lp(a) is a type of lipoprotein, primarily genetically determined, causes damage via inflammation and oxidative stress.

Cardiometabolic markers:
hsCRP is an important independent marker for inflammation. Elevated hs-CRP has been linked to a poor longterm prognosis for those with a recent history of a cardiac event.

Homocysteine, an amino acid, can rise in response to nutritional deficiencies of B12, folate, B6, or betaine. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to damaged endothelium, increased platelet aggregation, and the formation of atherosclerotic lesions.

Insulin:
Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, allows your body to use glucose for energy. Glucose is a type of sugar found in many carbohydrates.

How does the body utilise glucose?

Carbohydrates taken in in the form of food are broken down within the digestive tract and changed into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream through the lining of your small intestine. In the presence of bloodstream glucose, insulin signals cells throughout your body to absorb the sugar and use it for energy.

Insulin’s vital role is to balance your blood glucose levels: too much glucose in your bloodstream is mitigated by insulin telling your body to store the leftover glucose in your liver. This is then released when blood glucose levels decrease, such as between meals or when your body is stressed or needs an extra boost of energy.

Insulin and heart disease
Blood glucose levels should be in a low and steady range. Insulin resistance is the name given to the condition in which your cells aren’t reacting to insulin the way they’re supposed to (they’re resisting it), which means that sugar stays in your blood. This can then turn into diabetes – a one-point rise in your A1c, the test that measures blood sugar levels over time, can increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 18%.

There’s also a link between insulin resistance and other aspects of your health, such as that of the heart. Arteries can become inflamed and damaged by high blood sugar, and blood vessel walls get stiffer, contributing to high blood pressure. High blood sugar and inflammation can also damage the nerves that control your heart.

Sex hormone marker:
Testosterone – there is a strong and persistent link between low levels of testosterone and a spectrum of conditions including inflammation, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis, right the way through to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Sex hormone binding globulin:
SHBG is a protein synthesised by the liver which binds to the sex hormones testosterone, oestradiol and DHT, transporting them in the blood in inactive form. Low levels of testosterone in asymptomatic men and male patients with coronary heart disease have been associated in several studies with a higher cardiovascular risk.

Blood sample requiring a blood draw. The blood sample requires centrifuging before returning to the laboratory.

You will need to undertake an overnight fast of 12 hours during which you consume water only.

Avoid exercise for 24 hours prior to collecting your sample.

Some clinicians choose to discontinue non-essential nutritional supplements to get a “baseline” reading. Some clinicians choose to continue medications or nutritional supplementation to assess the efficacy of treatments. Please speak to your clinician about this. Do not stop taking any medication before speaking to your GP.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) interferes with lipid assays resulting in falsely low levels.

Testing is not recommended during infection, tissue injury or acute illness.

18 years and above.

14 working days.

Your test results will be emailed to you.

related tests

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Please do not return samples to the laboratories that may arrive after Wednesday 27th March and up to and including Monday 2nd April.

The laboratories are closed from the 28th March – 2nd April for the Easter Holiday.