Inflammatory markers: offering a closer look at cardiovascular risk

It’s an all-too familiar story: you learn that your patient was brought to the emergency department with symptoms of heart attack—the same patient who recently had normal cholesterol and triglyceride results at the time of their annual wellness visit. Could this heart attack have been prevented with additional testing?

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Is your seemingly healthy patient at risk for CVD?

Model used for illustrative purposes. A previous Primary Insights post discussed the response-to-injury hypothesis in cardiovascular disease (CVD). The events leading to CVD are thought to begin with an injury to the arterial wall. Risk factors like smoking, hypertension, and diabetes can injure the arterial wall, making it more susceptible to penetration and accumulation of excess lipids.

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Insulin resistance assessment: a powerful tool for inspiring change

You’ve seen hundreds of patients like him: late fifties, not as active as he used to be, gaining about 5 pounds a year the past few years. He’s a nonsmoker and complains of fatigue. His family has a history of diabetes and heart disease, but to date his labs have been unremarkable save for slightly elevated LDL-C (103 mg/dL). His LDL-C hasn’t concerned you because his HDL-C is quite good (82 mg/dL) and his triglyceride level is well within standard range (93 mg/dL). His glucose and HbA1c are normal.

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Does your patient have a lipid problem you can’t see?

For years, the traditional lipid panel has been the standard of care for risk assessment and monitoring cardiovascular disease (CVD) or dyslipidemia, with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels being the main target of treatment. However, while a traditional lipid panel measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides within lipoprotein particles, additional diagnostic tests can help identify other risk factors, including the number of atherogenic particles and the size of these particles.

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Practice advancement: a multimarker strategy for CVD risk stratification

How many patients are you treating for heart disease or its warning signs, e.g., hypertension or hyperlipidemia? You probably know the number or have a general sense. Now, here’s the harder question: how many of those patients are at higher risk of their disease progressing or of having a heart attack or stroke? In other words, which patients should you be monitoring more closely?

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