Prescription Drugs

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) also known as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the narrowing of the coronary artery as a result of the build-up of cholesterol.  This results in the reduction of blood flow or complete blockage to the heart, which causes chest pain (angina) or heart attack (myocardial infarction).  

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CHD is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 350,000 Americans in 2017.

 

Despite the advances that have been made in treating CHD, the number of individuals that develop heart disease continues to increase each year.  It has been published that in individuals with "normal" cholesterol levels, naturally or with treatment, there is a high percentage that still develop CHD.  Scientists and clinicians agree that this phenomenon highlights that there is a residual risk that is not identified with the traditional cholesterol screening.  There have been numerous tests that have 

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1

Causes

Numerous factors can contribute to the development of coronary heart disease, which include

  • Smoking

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Diabetes or insulin resistance 

  • Inactivity or sedentary lifestyle

2

Risk Factors

Like the causes of coronary heart disease, the risk factors are numerous, and they include

  • High LDL cholesterol

  • Low HDL cholesterol

  • High blood pressure

  • Family history

  • Diabetes

  • Smoking

  • Post-menopausal 

  • Age

  • Obesity

3

Prevention
  • Don't smoke, or definitely quit smoking

  • Less fatty foods, and eat more heart healthy food -- see American Heart Association's list

  • Don't be sedentary, be more active

  • Keep your weight down and maintain a body mass index within the normal range

  • Don't stress!

4

Treatment

If you ever are diagnosed with coronary heart disease, your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes, and, if appropriate, prescribe medication to manage the risks associated with development of disease.

 

For the unfortunate individuals that require surgical procedures, the following are often utilized to repair arteries or re-establish blood flow

  • Coronary angioplasty -- involves the placement of a device that balloons inside the artery to help re-establish blood flow

  • Atherectomy --  involves the shaving of the inside of the artery to remove the plaque

  • Coronary bypass surgery -- restores normal blood flow to an obstructed coronary artery

 

What does small-dense LDL (sdLDL) tell about your health?

Cholesterol is carried around the body within spherical particles (lipoproteins) called HDL and LDL. LDL (bad) cholesterol distributes cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. HDL (good) cholesterol collects the excess cholesterol and returns it to the liver. 

 

Cholesterol is essential for life, but increased LDL also means increased LDL-transported cholesterol (bad cholesterol), which can accumulate in the walls of blood vessels. This leads to wall thickening, atherosclerosis and decreased blood flow.   

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sdLDL can help reveal hidden risks not shown by other tests

Even when the amount of cholesterol carried by LDL particles (LDL cholesterol) is within the normal range, some people develop atherosclerosis. Why is that? 

 

Recent research has shown that not all LDL cholesterol particles are dangerous. The size of LDL particles matters.   

The real problem is the size of the LDL particles.

How sdLDL and LDL are causing atherosclerosis?

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The sdLDL enters the blood vessel wall, where it is oxidized and causes the formation of plaque. Because sdLDL particles tend to stay in the blood longer, they can penetrate the vessel walls more easily than the larger LDL particles. The excess sdLDL is especially likely to lead to atherosclerosis. 

 
Doctor and Patient

Talk to your doctor

about sdLDL

sdLDL is available from the following laboratories

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Helping to Enhance Risk Assessment for ASCVD