World Heart Day 2021
World Heart Day – Raising awareness of Cardiovascular Diseases
World Heart Day was established by the World Heart Federation in collaboration with the World Health Organization to raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s number one killer, causing over 18.6 million deaths per year, according to the World Heart Federation. 85% of these deaths are due to coronary heart diseases (e.g. heart attacks) and cerebrovascular diseases (e.g. strokes) and mostly affect low-and middle-income countries.
What are cardiovascular diseases?
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders relating to the heart and blood vessels and they include:
- coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle
- cerebrovascular disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain
- peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs
- rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria
- congenital heart disease – malformations of heart structure existing at birth
- deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs
How can Randox help with these current global challenges
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, is easier to treat when detected early. Here at Randox, we utilise innovative diagnostic tests for early risk assessment capable of diagnosing disease at the earliest possible stages, because we understand that “prevention is better than cure”.
Randox Laboratories is a world leader in innovative diagnostics with 40 years’ experience and a leading provider of diagnostic reagents for the assessment of cardiovascular disease risk. Randox offer an extensive menu of cardiac biomarkers within the cardiology reagents panel including:
- CK-MB – useful in patients with chest pain; Creatine Kinase is an enzyme produced in many different types of cells, of which high levels indicate muscle trauma or damage.
- Myoglobin – a small protein which leaks out of muscle cells after injury, is also considered a biomarker for the detection of Myocardinal Infraction.
- Routine lipid tests to determine the patient’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels – HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, Total Cholesterol and Triglycerides
- Independent risk assessment tests such as sdLDL Cholesterol and Lipoprotein(a) to determine any genetic factors which may increase their risk of CVD. Please note, this is necessary even for patients who have good cholesterol levels
- Secondary tests, such as High Sensitivity CRP, in addition to risk assessment markers and lipid evaluation – secondary tests are important in predicting future cardiac events of individuals with no previous history of CVD and those deemed healthy because of primary tests; approximately half of all heart attacks occur in patients classified as low risk. In addition, they can also be used to evaluate the risk of a recurrent cardiac event
- Homocysteine – elevated levels of homocysteine have been linked to various disease states including CVD. Extremely high levels are found in patients with homocystinuria, of which many suffer from early arteriosclerosis.
If you are a clinician or lab interested in our Cardiology & Lipids Panel, we have a wealth of resources available:
Download our Reagents Brochure
Download our Cardiology & Lipid Testing Brochure
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How much do you know about metabolic syndrome?
It is often mistaken for diabetes, but the truth is, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions – including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol. When these occur together, your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes is increased.
Determining whether or not a patient has metabolic syndrome is a complex process, with basic measurements including height and weight, as well as tests for insulin, leptin (a hunger-suppressing hormone) and adiponectin (a hormone inversely related to dangerous internal fat) factoring in to a comprehensive scientific investigation.
The first step in this investigation is often a test for Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the rate at which the body consumes calories for basic bodily processes – eg. maintaining internal temperature, repairing cells, pumping blood and powering muscles.
With the results of your Basal Metabolic Rate at hand, the scientific team at Randox Health can then present you with your Metabolic Age, or True Body Age as it is often known, by comparing your best Basal Metabolic Rate to other age groups.
The result is relative to gender, age, height and weight and other lifestyle factors. Increased BMR can be the result of frequent physical exercise, stress, illness, diabetes or hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), whereas decreased BMR can be associated with old age, loss of lean body mass or hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). Certain drugs, for example antidepressants, and menopause, can also affect BMR.
If the age indicated is lower than your actual age, then congratulations! With your healthy living habits, you have managed to shave years off your age. If the result is higher than your actual age, then you may need to increase your exercise levels or review your diet to improve your results.
And therein lies the good news. With changes to diet and exercise, you can prevent or even reverse metabolic syndrome.
And that’s why it’s so important to find out the status of your health at the earliest possible stage – so that you can make the necessary changes to your lifestyle before you develop a more serious condition.
At Randox Health events across the country, including this year’s Randox Health Grand National, our team of scientists are offering free ‘True Body Age’ results on their Body Composition Analysis machine, which assesses 25 different areas of your body. It takes measurements including ratio of muscle to fat, bone density, hidden visceral fat and cellular hydration levels.
In its measurement of Basal Metabolic Rate the BCA machine will give challengers their True Body Age, which can be a great way to kickstart your health improvement journey.
It is however, only the first step in obtaining a comprehensive understanding of your current health, and determining the conditions of which you are personally at risk of developing in the future.
Randox Health goes beyond standard testing – offering the world’s most comprehensive and personalised health check. Following your initial Body Composition Analysis and True Body Age reading, our scientific experts will then analyse up to 350 different results from a blood sample you provide. Armed with the knowledge of your results, you can truly take control of your health and make a change to improve your future wellbeing.
Phone the Randox Health team today to make a booking: 0800 2545 130
Or join us at the Randox Health Grand National for a FREE Body Composition Analysis which will tell you your True Body Age.
Heart disease experts have suggested today that toddlers get tested for an inherited form of the condition, from as early as twelve months old.
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic disorder characterised by very high cholesterol levels, specifically very high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL – so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol). FH is the main cause of heart disease and increases by 10-fold the chance of someone having a heart attack under the age of 40. However people who have been diagnosed can control their cholesterol levels by taking a daily dose of statins.
Currently testing is carried out when an adult who had has heart problems is found to be FH positive. Doctors then recommend testing for others in the family. It’s estimated that currently between 80-90% of FH cases remain undiagnosed.
However a new study led by a team from Queen Mary University of London took a different approach. They tested a group of one-year-old children for known genetic mutations which are linked to FH. Out of 10,000, 40 were found to be FH positive. Not only has this group of children been identified early, but because the condition is genetic, one or both of their parents must have it too. For every one positive FH test, at least two people were diagnosed.
According to the lead researcher Dr David Wald, preventive diagnostic testing for FH could prevent up to 600 heart attacks a year among the under-40s in England and Wales. He told the BBC,
“This is the only screening method that stands a reasonable chance of covering the whole population and identifying those at highest risk of an early heart attack.”
The broadcaster also spoke to the British Heart Foundation’s Medical Director Professor Sir Nilesh Samani who said,
“Early diagnosis in children is likely to substantially improve treatment of their condition and will help find other family members with FH. But before nationwide screening is adopted by the NHS, more work needs to be done to show it’s a cost-effective way for picking up individuals with FH which will be acceptable to families.”
Randox Biosciences have developed a FH test in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust to proactively diagnose FH. Utilised on our patented Biochip Array Technology, our FH arrays simultaneously detect 40 of the most common FH-causing mutations within the LDLR, ApoB and PCSK9 genes, with results available in just three hours.
The test, which is available through Randox Health Clinics, has also been adopted by medical professionals within the NHS including Dr. Colin Graham, recently retired Consultant Clinical Scientist and former Head of the Regional Genetics Lab in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, who introduced the test within his Belfast Laboratory screen for suspected cases of FH.
He said the availability of this test marked a key milestone in the detection of the condition,
“Current FH diagnostic tests require a large volume of samples to be batched, leading to lengthy turnaround times of two to three months. With the new test, the turnaround time is dramatically reduced, enabling more rapid patient diagnosis. This new test has the potential to enable FH screening to become routine in the clinical setting for improved detection and earlier identification of familial cases.”
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories said,
“In the battle against cardiovascular disease, people with FH are on the front line. It is important to raise awareness of FH as many people do not even know that they and their family members have this life-threatening condition. There is so much that can be done to support families with FH and with this readily available and much-needed test, detecting and treating entire families with FH is now possible.”