#LoveYourHeart this Valentine’s Day!
We are encouraging you to #LoveYourHeart this Valentine’s Day! Read on to find out why your heart health should matter to you this #HeartMonth!
Fact: Did you know people with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people without diabetes?¹
Good diabetes control is imperative! If you have diabetes take control and monitor your treatment to ensure you are safe from complications such as cardiovascular disease…
Many complications associated with diabetes include kidney disease, eye disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetic ketoacidosis (a life threatening condition that can develop in insulin dependent diabetics).
If you have diabetes, being physically active and controlling your weight and blood pressure will help manage your blood sugar level; and therefore help manage the risk of cardiac diseases.
However a few simple routine tests may also be carried out to ensure normal kidney function. Normal kidney function in a diabetic patient means that diabetes is being controlled well, however if kidney function begins to deteriorate then you will know that measures need to be taken to control diabetes better.
Speciality tests to assess kidney function which can be requested include:
- Cystatin C – a sensitive marker of kidney function used for detection of early renal dysfunction in diabetic patients. It is important to note that Creatinine is the routine test for renal dysfunction, however it has a blind range which means it is unable to detect elevated Creatinine levels found in stage 2 and halfway through stage 3 renal dysfunction; as a result 50% of kidney function can be lost before elevated Creatinine levels can be seen. The Cystatin C test is a much more sensitive marker and can detect early stages of renal dysfunction, allowing treatment to begin before it is too late.
- Beta-2 Microglobulin – this test is used when kidney damage has occurred to distinguish between the two most commonly affected sites, glomeruli and renal tubules.
Fact: Cardiovascular Diseases are the number one cause of death globally, with more people dying annually from CVDs than any other cause.² In the UK alone, 41,000 people under the age of 75 die from CVD each year.³
If you are worried about your cardiovascular health, or whether you are at risk of a heart attack or stroke, ask your doctor for a cardiovascular risk assessment. Routinely they will run lipid tests such as Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides to assess your overall cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and allow corrective action to be taken.
Look out for hidden risk factors!
Specific tests you may also want to discuss with your doctor include:
- sLDL Cholesterol and Lipoprotein(a) to assess for genetically inherited risks of cardiovascular disease – even if your cholesterol levels are safe you may still be at risk of cardiovascular disease as a result of familial traits
- Adiponectin to assess the level of abdominal visceral fat, of which high levels can increase your cardiovascular risk. Please note that abdominal visceral fat levels or body fat cannot be determined by BMI score, which assesses whether weight is within a healthy range. As such, the Adiponectin test provides a clearer indication of health and is a good predictor of cardiovascular risk
- TxBCardio to assess response to Aspirin therapy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Up to 30% of patients receiving Aspirin therapy suffer unknowingly from Aspirin resistance. This test enables treatment to be modified and corrected
Asking your doctor for these tests creates an opportunity for corrective action to be taken and can have significant benefits for your health.
Fact: Approximately one woman dies from heart disease every minute, of which 64% had no previous symptoms.4
Sixty-four percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. Because these symptoms vary greatly between men and women, they’re often misunderstood. Media has conditioned us to believe that the telltale sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain. But in reality, women are somewhat more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Other symptoms women should look out for are dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen and extreme fatigue.
Being aware of these signs can aid early detection, and greatly increase chances of surviving a heart attack!
So don’t forget to #LoveYourHeart this Valentine’s Day! Randox can provide a vast range of specialised blood tests to allow the most accurate diagnosis of diabetes, cardiac risk and associated complications. From all of us here at Randox we wish you an enjoyable Valentine’s Day!