Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Testing the patient’s “good” and “bad” cholesterol has sufficed as the standard of care for determining cardiac risk for almost 4 decades. Corrective Cardiac Care does more: it tests critically important markers of inflammation including cardiac specific C- reactive protein (hC-RP). In addition, fibrinogen (tendency to clot) homocysteine and lipoprotein (a) are worth testing as each imparts a different risk to your heart. Why hasn’t your cardiologist or primary care doctor tested these other markers, settling instead for simply the lipid panel (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides)? Not because the science is lacking. Rather because insurance doesn’t easily reimburse for these other important tests. New question for your doctor: “Is your advice based upon what you think is best for me or rather on what you think the insurance company will reimburse?” That question is becoming more important to bear in mind every day in medicine. If your heart is the issue, read the following article and ask your cardiologist if she or he will test your inflammatory markers and not just your cholesterol levels.
ScienceDaily (Dec. 2, 2012) — Coronary artery disease is the process by which plaque builds up in the wall of heart vessels, eventually leading to chest pain and potentially lethal heart attacks. It is the leading cause of death worldwide.
The study, published online Dec. 2 in Nature Genetics, provides insights into the molecular pathways causing coronary artery disease, which is also known as coronary atherosclerosis.
“Perhaps the most interesting results of this study show that some people may be born with a predisposition to the development of coronary atherosclerosis because they have inherited mutations in some key genes related to inflammation,” said Themistocles (Tim) Assimes, MD, PhD, a Stanford assistant professor of medicine and one of the study’s lead authors. “There has been much debate as to whether inflammation seen in plaque buildup in heart vessels is a cause or a consequence of the plaques themselves. Our network analysis of the top approximately 240 genetic signals in this study seems to provide evidence that genetic defects in some pathways related to inflammation are a cause.”
More than 170 researchers were involved in this massive meta-analysis combining genetic data from more than 190,000 research participants. Interestingly, about a quarter of the genetic regions associated with coronary disease or heart attack were also found to be strongly associated with cholesterol, especially high levels of the so-called bad cholesterol known as LDL. Another 10 percent were associated with high blood pressure. Both of these conditions are known risk factors for coronary artery disease….. In the new study, scientists used all information from last year’s study then added to it, reaching 41,513 patients with heart disease and 65,919 control patients. To genetically fingerprint a large number of subjects in a very cost-effective manner, the researchers used a specialized genetic chip that incorporated only the top signals from the original meta-analysis of the initial 14 GWA studies.
To read the entire article, see: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121202164436.htm