Boulder Natural Health offers a Comprehensive Cardiovascular Assessment to determine your cardiovascular risk. We offer natural solutions to help you prevent cardiovascular disease and stay healthy.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death of men and women in the United States and each year more than a million individuals experience a heart attack. Traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease include high blood pressure, obesity, cigarette smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, family history of heart disease, age (men over 44 years old or women over 54 years old), and elevated cholesterol – but these factors alone do not include all patients at risk of a cardiovascular event. Nearly 50% of all heart attack victims have normal levels of these traditional biomarkers including total cholesterol.
The Comprehensive Cardiovascular Assessment evaluates both the traditional risk factors as well as measuring vascular inflammation, lipid deposits, endothelial dysfunction, clotting factors, and other primary mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease. The Comprehensive Cardiovascular Assessment testing includes important biomarkers such as:
- Total cholesterol
- Lipoprotein (a)
Although elevated cholesterol is linked to increased atherosclerosis, cholesterol also functions as a natural protector of cell membranes due to its free radical scavenging activity. Total cholesterol serves as a marker for both cardiovascular disease and oxidative stress. Although total cholesterol can provide a very general assessment of cardiovascular health, evaluating other lipid markers is crucial for accurate investigation of coronary disease.
Low density lipoproteins (LDL) is sometimes called the “bad cholesterol”. Diets high in saturated fats and cholesterol can cause high levels of circulating LDL. An abundance of research has established that high levels of LDL are a major cause of coronary heart disease. Measuring LDL is critical for complete interpretation of cardiovascular risk.
Commonly called the “good cholesterol,” HDL is assembled in the blood from components derived from the intestine, liver, cell membranes, and triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. It has been well established that high HDL levels correlate to lower incidence of coronary disease.
Triglycerides are the main fatty oils found in vegetable oil and animal fats. Diets high in carbohydrates, where carbohydrates account for over 60% of total caloric intake, can increase triglyceride levels. High levels of triglycerides have been linked to atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke.
Homocysteine is an amino acid that functions as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of cysteine from methionine. High levels of homocysteine have been correlated with damaged endothelium (the inner lining of blood vessels), increased platelet utilization, and the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Elevated levels of homocysteine can result from deficiencies of B vitamins such as vitamin B12, folic acid and vitamin B6. A wide array of health conditions including depression, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, birth defects, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis are associated with elevated levels of homocysteine.
Lipoprotein (a) is a class of lipoproteins. High levels of Lipoprotein (a) has been associated with coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, atherosclerosis, thrombosis and stroke.
Fibrinogen plays a key role in arterial occlusion by promoting atherosclerotic plaque, thrombus formation, endothelial injury, and hyperviscosity. Fibrinogen can be increased by smoking, obesity, inflammation, stress, oral contraceptives, and aging.
C-Reactive Protein is an important marker associated with inflammation. High levels of C-Reactive Protein encourage coagulation and damage to the vascular endothelium, increasing the potential threat to cardiovascular health.