Atherotech Diagnostics Lab has developed a new way to test for heart disease risk in women over the age of 50. The new test will soon be available exclusively through Atherotech Diagnostics Lab.

“We’re basically looking at the ratio of good cholesterol to very bad cholesterol,” said Atherotech Diagnostics Lab Chief Medical Officer Michael E. Cobble, M.D. “This new ratio shows great promise in being able to help doctors better determine which women over age 50 are at greater risk of a heart attack.”

Researcher Heidi T. May, PhD, an epidemiologist at Intermountain Medical Center in Utah, helped discover the new ratio. May said that at age 50—around the time of menopause—women begin to catch up with men in terms of heart disease risk.

“It is often difficult to determine who’s at risk in this population because of their already elevated HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Therefore, developing a way to better identify increased risk of heart disease in this group could have significant clinical implications,” May said.

May is the lead author of a study that was recently presented at the National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions and published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology that evaluated the ability of this new ratio to predict death or heart attack in women over age 50. The researchers concluded that the ratio of apoA1 (good kinds of cholesterol) to remnant lipoproteins (bad kinds of cholesterol) is a strong predictor of short- and intermediate-term heart disease risk among women over 50 years of age compared to standard cholesterol measurements such as LDL, HDL and total cholesterol.

The higher the ratio of apoA1 to remnant lipoproteins the better. In this study, the average risk ratio score was 6.6, and anything above 6.8 was found to be good and a score below 4.7 indicated increased risk. This new risk ratio test will soon be available to physicians and laboratories contracting exclusively through Atherotech Diagnostics Lab.

Source: Atherotech Diagnostics Lab