Celebrating Valentine’s Day with the Cardiac Prediction Array from Randox Biosciences
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
1 – HeartUK
2 – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
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!