Cardiac Risk Assessment

The cardiac risk assessment is a group of tests which show how likely a person is to have a stroke or develop heart problems, such as a heart attack. The cardiac risk assessment takes factors such as age, family history, BMI, lifestyle habits, gender, blood pressure and general health into consideration; those who are overweight, smoke, drink heavily, live a sedentary lifestyle or have existing health conditions, including high blood pressure or diabetes, are at a high risk of suffering from heart disease and strokes.

Which tests are carried out?

The lipid profile is the most important test in the cardiac risk assessment; this test measures the levels of LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and can determine the risk of an individual developing coronary heart disease.

Other tests include imaging tests, such as the ECG (electrocardiogram), nuclear stress test, ECG stress test, echocardiogram, MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) and computerised tomograpjhy (CT scan).

What do the results show?

The desirable levels for the lipid profile are as follows:

  • Total cholesterol: less than 5.0 mmol/L
  • HDL-cholesterol: higher than 1.0mmol/L for males and higher than 1.20 for females
  • LDL-cholesterol: less than 3.0 mmol/L
  • Triglycerides: less than 1.70 mmol/L

Variations in these values may indicate that an individual is at a higher risk of developing heart problems in the future.

Which other tests can be used?

Other tests, including the high sensitivity C-reactive protein and lipoprotein tests can also be used to assess the risk of heart disease.

What does treatment involve?

The treatment pathway will be based on the individual and the results of the tests that have undergone; there are a variety of different treatments available for heart disease, depending on the individual, their circumstances, medical history and the gravity of their conditions. Sometimes, lifestyle changes can make a huge difference; losing weight, eating healthily, giving up smoking and drinking and exercising regularly will help to boost general health. Medication can also be prescribed and those with severe heart disease may be advised to have a surgical procedure.

Specific Blood Tests

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