If you are over forty years, suffering from Diabetes and or Hypertension, leading a sedentary life style, smoker, and overweight or if Heart disease runs in your family, then you are at risk of developing Heart disease.
If you feel that you may be at risk then you should consult a Cardiologist who will conduct Cardiac Risk Assessment-this is a group of tests and health factors that have been proven to indicate your chance of having a Coronary Heart Disease.
Cardiac Risk Assessment involves both Invasive and Non-Invasive Tests. Non-invasive tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG), ECG stress test, nuclear stress test, computerized tomography (CT) scan, echocardiogram, and magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA). Invasive tests include an angiography / arteriography and cardiac catheterization, etc.
The lipid profile is the most important blood test for risk assessment. The lipid profile measures cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL (“good” cholesterol), and LDL (“bad” cholesterol).Below are the desirable ranges for the components of the lipid profile: Cholesterol 40 mg/dL LDL-cholesterol <100 mg/dL Triglycerides <150 mg/dL If any or all of your results are significantly outside these ranges, your risk of a Heart Disease is increased. Another important test is C-reactive protein (CRP), CRP is a general marker for acute inflammation, and inflammation is thought to have an important role in atherogenesis (process of forming atheromas or plaques in the inner lining of arteries).
Another test useful in predicting Cardiac Risk is is serum homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid that comes from the normal breakdown of proteins in the body and appears to be a better test than cholesterol for predicting heart disease, stroke, and reduced blood flow to the hands and feet. Higher the level of homocysteine, higher is the cardiac risk.