National Cholesterol Month: Protect your family from early heart disease
Have you heard of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH)?
A common disorder that is passed from parents to their children, FH is often called the ‘silent killer’ as it is characterised by dangerously high levels of cholesterol, leading to early onset cardiovascular disease.
The good news is that if diagnosed, FH can be effectively treated. The even better news this National Cholesterol Month is that a rapid and accurate diagnostic test for FH, developed by Randox Laboratories, has made diagnosis across the UK much simpler.
The prevalence of FH
Thousands of families in the UK are affected by FH, as not only is heart disease the number one killer across the globe, there is a 50:50 chance that a parent with FH will pass it onto their children. The condition can lead to higher risk of a heart attack in men before the age of 50, or before the age of 60 in women.
A common disease, at least 1 in every 500 people in the UK are living with FH, although new international research suggests that 1 in every 200 people could be affected, which would mean as many as 300,000 people in the UK. Worryingly, it is substantially underdiagnosed and less than 12% of people with FH in the UK are aware that they have this potentially life-threatening condition.
Testing for FH
The current recommended screening techniques for Familial Hypercholesterolemia are costly and time consuming, limiting the number of individuals who benefit from a timely diagnosis. Under NHS guidelines, when a person is found to have FH, their closest blood relatives should get tested too – including children before the age of 10.
The Randox FH test, developed in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, enables detection of the 40 most common genetic mutations that cause FH in the UK, with results available in just three hours, and a definitive diagnosis within one day.
With early and appropriate treatment, such as adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking cholesterol-lowering medication, risk of heart disease can be significantly reduced so that someone with FH can live as long as a person who doesn’t have the condition.
Professor John Chapman, Past- President of the European Atherosclerosis Society, which promotes study into the causes of accelerated atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, has welcomed the Randox test for suspected cases of FH:
“FH is a serious condition for those with a family history of accelerated atherosclerosis and premature cardiovascular disease. With this information, preventative measures including diet, lifestyle and lipid lowering drugs can be successfully introduced. Indeed, early identification and prevention can significantly benefit all family members potentially with this condition. In fact, we are entering an exciting time in the treatment of those with cardiovascular disease as new and highly effective drugs for lipid management are becoming available.”
The test, which is available through Randox Health Clinics, has 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:
“The launch of this new clinically available test is a key milestone in the detection and diagnosis of FH. 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.”
Dr. Graham also highlighted the importance of improving detection rates through the screening of wider patient populations:
“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. On World Heart Day 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.”
For more information please contact the Randox PR team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phoning 028 9442 2413
Today in the UK, on average, 530 people will be admitted to hospital with a heart attack – even though 75% of heart disease is preventable.
At Randox Health, we believe in preventing disease, instead of waiting for it to occur. We do this through our comprehensive health checks, which use innovative Randox technology to provide you with up to 350 test results, covering over 25 different areas within the body. One of those areas is the heart, by using our ‘Heart Health test panel’. This panel offers up to 21 tests, including a cardiovascular risk score, which assesses your risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years.
Our Heart Health panel also measures apolipoproteins, which are proteins which bind cholesterol for transport around the body. Measuring apolipoproteins along with traditional cholesterol markers, such as LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol, gives us a much more detailed understanding of your Heart Health, compared to using traditional cholesterol levels alone. A unique test in our panel can identify damage to heart muscle, which can occur with a heart attack.
It’s in the genes
As well as our comprehensive Heart Health panel, offered within our programmes, Randox Health also offer more specialised cardiac testing.
Taking cardiac risk assessment one step further, our Cardiac Risk Prediction testing can predict your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) using not only traditional cholesterol and blood pressure measurements, but using advanced genetic testing. Such testing will combine various genetic tests known to be associated with increased risk of CHD, along with measurements such as blood pressure and cholesterol to calculate and provide you with an overall CHD risk score.
If you have high cholesterol, or heart disease runs in your family, you may benefit from our Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) genetic screen. FH is a hereditary condition involving high cholesterol levels and a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke at a younger age. FH occurs in approximately 1 in every 250 people worldwide and it is thought that 90% of individuals with the condition remain undiagnosed! At Randox Health we recognise the importance of detecting this condition as early as possible; therefore, we offer testing which can check simultaneously for several genetic mutations known to be involved in FH. Early diagnosis and treatment of FH significantly improves and lengthens the lives of those affected, as well as saving the lives of their beloved family members.
To find out more, click here or call 0800 2545 130 and one of our team will be able to discuss this in more detail with you.
Your heart is amazing. Not only is it your most critical organ but also one of the most hard-working. The average adult heart beats around 100,000 times a day, acting as a giant pump for all the blood in your body. Indeed, every day your heart pumps over nine litres of blood through a system of blood vessels over 60,000 miles long – it’s little wonder, then, the importance placed on looking after such a vital muscle.
The heart works 24/7, only taking a rest when you sleep with the natural drop of heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, and influenced by lifestyle choices, the heart grows weaker, needing to work harder to fulfil its function. Crucial lifestyle changes now could limit your risk of developing serious cardiac conditions, such as Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in the future. Factors which can contribute to your CVD risk include genes inherited from parents or grandparents, smoking, an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol consumption and low physical activity levels.
You can’t change your DNA, but you can find out what it means to you and your family. One of our advanced tests can identify people living with a common but often hidden disorder – Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). Fewer than 12% of people in the UK know they have this potentially fatal condition. It is characterised by dangerously high levels of cholesterol which can lead to early onset cardiovascular disease.
While lifestyle changes may help to limit your risk of CVD, and related heart condition, it is impossible to eradicate it completely for everyone. Accounting for 31% of deaths worldwide, CVD is the number one cause of death globally but early screening could lower this figure significantly. That’s why it’s vitally important to detect CVD early before a coronary event like a heart attack occurs.
Today in the UK, 530 people will go to the hospital with a suspected heart attack. Only a fifth of these people will actually be having a heart attack. According to a team from King’s College London, as reported by the BBC, a faster, more accurate diagnosis of whether chest pain is caused by a heart attack would save the health service millions of pounds each year by sending well patients home and freeing up beds. Yet current testing methods do not efficiently differentiate between high-risk patients and the estimated 80% of patients who are not having a heart attack.
Randox’s revolutionary test for Heart-Type Fatty Acid-Binding Protein (H-FABP), when combined with current testing, is able to rule out a heart attack for patients who present at A&E with chest pain which is caused by other conditions such as respiratory issues, meaning they may not need emergency admission.
When measured at the time a patient presents to A&E with chest pain, H-FABP enables doctors to triage patients suffering with a heart attack more efficiently than before, making sure those at high-risk are given medical intervention earlier.
Early screening in the form of a comprehensive health check is essential to detect cardiac irregularities before they become serious problems. Heart damage builds up over time, meaning that when detected early enough, lifestyle changes can help to reduce cardiac risk and potentially even prevent a cardiac event occurring.
Therefore, it is vitally important that individuals are tested for CVD to detect them in the earliest stages to reduce damage, prevent further damage, or even death. Furthermore, many people suffer from inherited cardiac risk factors, which stresses the need for accurate testing.
Randox offer the complete laboratory solution to cardiac risk assessment information to doctors and hospitals, and also directly to the public at Randox Health. Our range of both traditional and novel cardiac risk biomarkers, along with our technologically-advanced range of analysers, serves to allow us to offer the most advanced, most accurate health check available on the planet.
As well as your cardiovascular risk score, a Randox Health check will also assess your cholesterol levels, FH risk, triglycerides, creative kinase, myoglobin, troponin levels and many more heart health indicators. In total, a Randox Health check can assess up to 350 different markers of irregularity or disease in the whole body, from heart to hormone health and skin to stomach.
Many serious future health issues are preventable now with action. Find out more about our health check programmes here.
About Randox Health
Randox Health is a global leader in healthcare diagnostics; today more than 5% of the world’s population – in excess of 370 million people across 145 countries – receives medical diagnosis using Randox products each year.
After investing over £220 million in the invention and production of revolutionary blood-science technology, a single Randox Health check will deliver a complete picture of your health – as it is now and, crucially, how it is likely to develop in the future.
Randox Health has proven that signs of disease or irregularity can be caught at their earliest stage. This means that, with early action, some cases of illness can even be prevented altogether. Our health checks include, but are not limited to, cancer surveillance, fertility monitoring, heart health, nutrition, digestive and diabetes health.
In other words, from one health check, you’ll receive up to 350 results and afterwards avail of expert advice from the Randox scientists or a Randox Health GP. Not only that, but a complete 12-month programme and repeat testing come as standard so you can have full confidence that you are really taking care of yourself.
Find out more information about Randox Health checks here: https://www.randoxhealth.com/our-packages/
Randox has developed the RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers for high-quality semi-automated and fully automated testing. Choose between the RX misano, RX monaco, RX daytona+, RX imola, and the RX modena depending on the throughput of your laboratory. The RX series offers a suitable analyser for your laboratory’s needs. For more information on the Randox RX series, please click here or email email@example.com
Randox offers an extensive range of third party diagnostic reagents which are internationally recognised as being of the highest quality; producing accurate and precise results. We have the largest test menu of 118 assays, covering over 100 disease markers including specific proteins, lipids, therapeutic drug monitoring, drugs of abuse, antioxidants, coagulation, diabetes and veterinary testing. A wide range of formats and methods are available providing greater flexibility and choice for any laboratory size. In addition to flexible pack sizes and a comprehensive list of analyser applications, we can also provide dedicated reagent packs (Randox Easy Read and Easy Fit regents) for a wide range of chemistry analysers providing you with freedom of choice from an independent manufacturer.
Acusera – Internal Quality Control
The Acusera cardiac controls have been designed to cover a wide range of cardiac markers at clinical decision levels, eliminating the extra expense of an additional low level control. The controls are available in a both liquid ready-to-use and lyophilized formats making them ideal for all situations and manufactured from 100% human serum a matrix similar to that of the patient is guaranteed. For more information on the Randox Acusera internal quality control, please click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
RIQAS – External Quality Control
The RIQAS Liquid Cardiac EQA programme is designed to monitor the performance of up to 9clinically significant cardiac markers including: CK-MB mass, D-dimer, Digoxin, homocysteine, hsCRP, myoglobin, NT proBNP, troponin I, and troponin T. RIQAS is ISO/IEC 17043 accredited and allows the registration of up to five instruments at no extra cost. All samples are 100% human serum and provided in a liquid ready-to-use format for enhanced convenience. Submit your results bi-weekly and view reports online via RIQAS.Net. For more information on RIQAS, the world’s largest international EQA scheme, please click here or email email@example.com
For further information, please contact the Randox PR team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 9442 2413
With Valentine’s Day being in the heart of National Heart Month, Randox Biosciences want to take this opportunity to talk about the importance of looking after your heart and the awareness of the tests out there currently on offer.
The British Health Foundation launched National Heart Month with the aim to spread awareness of heart disease and to encourage the nation to make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle.
Currently Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the UK, with 73,000 people dying from Coronary Heart Disease every year in the UK.1
Coronary Heart Disease is a disease in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. Our arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles, however, over time plaque builds up and can harden. This hardened plaque, then narrows the coronary arteries reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, which can lead to angina or a heart attack to occur.2
CHD is more likely with increasing age, in men rather than in women before menopause and if close relatives have suffered CHD early in life. These risk factors cannot be changed, however, there are other risk factors that can be modified. These are known as elevated blood cholesterol, overweight and obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet and stress.
You can prevent and control many CHD risk factors with heart-healthy changes and medication. There is only a few risk factors that can’t be controlled such as your age, gender and family history. Nonetheless, many lifestyle changes help control several CHD risk factors at the same time, such as physical activity which may reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, help control diabetes and help control your weight.
If you believe you are at risk of coronary heart disease, you can ask for a risk assessment for heart diseases, heart attack or stroke. However, current CHD risk assessment tools based on common risk factors such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels have low predictive value and take no account of genetic predisposition to CHD.
In recent years, Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have been carried out to identify genetics variants associated with CHD. Meta-analysis of such studies has identified 19 variants as being associated with CHD.
Individually, the presence of an “at risk” variant does not greatly increase the risk of developing CHD. However, the presence of multiple “at risk” alleles can increase the risk of developing CHD two-fold or greater an effect similar to being a current smoker. Combining genotype information with common risk factors could allow individuals to be more accurately classified therefore preventative therapies and lifestyle advice can be targeted to those who require it most.
In order to utilise the GWAS findings within a clinical setting, individuals require to be genotyped for each of the 19 CHD “at risk” SNPs. However, at present this can be a time consuming and expensive process.
Together with key opinion leaders in cardiovascular genetics, Randox has developed the Cardiac Risk Prediction Array which will allow all 19 SNPs to be genotyped simultaneously, which incorporates a test to identify patients predisposed to statin induced myopathy.
Firstly, a multiplex PCR reaction is performed, where the products amplified correspond to the genotype of the patient sample. The PCR products are then hybridised onto the Cardiac Risk Prediction biochip array and imaged using the Evidence Investigator analyser to identify which PCR products are present. Patient samples can be genotyped within 1 day.
This Heart Month, we are urging the pubic to not only help raise awareness of heart disease but also educate themselves on the signs and symptoms to increase early diagnosis. As a global diagnostic company, Randox Biosciences are committed to the ongoing development of diagnostic tests, as well as our research into numerous disease areas to improve health worldwide.
To find out more email us at email@example.com
1 – HeartUK
2 – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
As the supplier of a pioneering diagnostic able to assist with differentiating between coronary pain and non-cardiac chest pain, Randox Laboratories has this week welcomed news about the importance of introducing new innovations which can significantly improve patient outcomes.
Prioritising people presenting with a heart attack over those with non-cardiac chest pain is one of the biggest challenges A&E doctors face – there are around 200,000 heart attacks each year in the UK, but around 1 million people come to A&E with chest pains. According to a team from King’s College London, as reported by the BBC, a faster, more accurate diagnosis of whether chest pain is caused by a heart attack would save the health service millions of pounds each year by sending well patients home and freeing up beds. Yet current testing methods do not efficiently differentiate between high-risk patients and the estimated 80% of patients who are not having a heart attack.
Randox’s revolutionary test for Heart-Type Fatty Acid-Binding Protein (H-FABP) however, when combined with current testing, is able to rule out a heart attack for patients who present at A&E with chest pain which is caused by other conditions such as respiratory issues, meaning they may not need emergency admission.
When measured at the time a patient presents to A&E with chest pain, H-FABP enables doctors to triage patients suffering with a heart attack more efficiently than before.
Dr. Gary Smyth, Medical Director at Randox Laboratories, hopes that more efficient testing will become widely available so that doctors can identify and prioritise patients at risk;
“Despite the best efforts of our NHS colleagues, EDs across the UK are under tremendous pressure. In many cases people are presenting with chest pain but aren’t suffering from a heart attack, and given that current cardiac tests are not as sensitive as clinicians would like, these patients are being admitted unnecessarily, taking up beds and valuable resources.
“It is imperative that newer, faster tests are adopted because fundamentally this means saving lives.”
H-FABP is released into the bloodstream within 30 minutes of a heart attack, whereas people who are currently admitted to hospital with chest pains may have to wait several hours for test results. Even the latest heart attack test to be adopted by the NHS, troponin, can take up to six hours to provide confirmation.
H-FABP, conversely, is released from the heart during the early stages of a heart attack and because it is so small, it can be detected when the heart cells are being damaged, rather than at the stage when troponin would usually be detected – when cell death has already occurred. The test can also be used to identify people who are at high risk of heart attack in the near future.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“Research shows that patients who were troponin negative and therefore sent home from hospital, but who were positive for H-FABP, were at high risk of death – as high as a 20% chance of death that same year.
“If the H-FABP test was added to existing tests upon arrival at hospital, doctors could quickly and accurately rule out the 80% of chest pain patients who are not having a heart attack, allowing resources to be focused on those who are actually at high risk.”
Today is World Heart Day. We all know someone close to us who has been affected by heart related disease despite extensive research being carried out to try and prevent it
According to the British Heart Foundation, today in the UK alone:
- 435 people will lose their lives to Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
- More than 110 people will be younger than 75
- 515 people will go to hospital due to a heart attack
- 190 people will die from a heart attack
From 2011 to 2013 a study of men and women under the age of 75 recorded an annual loss of 41,786 people noted by British Heart Federation. In the United States of America around 1.5 million people suffer from heart attacks and strokes each year. CVD is currently the leading cause of death in United States.
However, the British Heart Foundation have revealed that the annual number of deaths from CVD in the UK has fallen by more than half, since their establishment. This is a great achievement, but more can be done in the race to beat heart disease.
Take control of your heart health today
Keeping a healthy heart is key to your well-being. Our healthy tips below give some examples of how you can start working towards a healthier heart today.
Smoking is still a major cause of CVD. Smoking causes your blood vessels to thicken and become narrower making your heart beat faster and increases blood pressure. This puts significant pressure on your heart and can result in a number of heart related diseases.
Smoking can cause blood clots to form, blocking your arteries which makes it extremely difficult for your heart to pump blood around your body. This is one of the leading cause of CVD and Strokes. According to the NHS, after one year of giving up smoking your risk of a heart attack falls by about half that of a smoker.
Even if you are not a smoker, you should try and avoid inhaling second hand smoke where possible.
Limit your alcohol intake
Drinking excess alcohol can result in considerable health implications.
According to the NHS guidelines, both men and women shouldn’t drink any more than 14 units per week. If you do drink 14 units per week this should be spread out over 3 days or more.
The British heart Foundation stated in their October 2010 statistical report ‘While moderate consumption (one or two drinks a day) does not increase the risk of CVD, it is estimated in men that 2% of CVD and 5% of strokes are due to excessive drinking.
Exercise not only releases endorphins which can have an extremely positive effect on our mental wellbeing, but it will also improve our physical health.
A study carried out by the World Heart Federation revealed that walking at least two hours a week reduced the incidence of premature death from cardiovascular disease by about 50%.
You should aim to do at least 30 minutes exercise 5 days a week to keep a healthy heart. Simple exercises such as walking to work instead of taking your car a few days a week, cycling for 30 minutes after work, or going swimming at the weekend can help to reduce your risk of CVD.
Cut down on saturated fat
Eating foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. Saturated fats include foods such as processed meats, fatty meats, whole milk and cream, butter and lard. Replacing these with healthier options such a coconut oil, lean cut meats, and skimmed milks can help improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease greatly.
Randox is a leading provider of diagnostic reagents for the assessment of cardiovascular disease risk. Assessment of cardiac health and regular cardiac screening is vital so that risk factors can be detected in the earliest stages. Our dedicated test menu includes an extensive cardiac panel, including; CK-MB, Lipoprotein (a), TxB cardio, Myoglobin and H-FABP.
These tests can be run on our range of clinical chemistry analysers, the RX series, which will provide you with accurate and reliable results. The RX series combines robust hardware and intuitive software with the RX series dedicated test menu boasting innovation, ease-of-use, and superior technology for your laboratory.
You can view our complete test menu here https://www.randox.com/complete-rx-test-menu/.
Support World Heart Day 2016 by taking a healthy heart selfie and post it via twitter using the hashtag