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Cardiovascular Risk

Lipoprotein Particle Profile (LPP®)

Cholesterol has historically been used as the standard indicator for cardiovascular disease, often being classified as “good” (HDL) or “bad” (LDL). Studies have found that it is actually the lipoprotein particles that carry the cholesterol throughout the blood, not the cholesterol within them, that are responsible for key steps in plaque formation and the development of cardiovascular disease. The small, dense, cholesterol-depleted particles impart the highest risk, as does a higher number of these lipoproteins. 

Standard cholesterol testing does not tell us enough about the particle types—or subgroups—of each of these LDL and HDL families; therefore, it misses the earliest opportunity to prevent adverse cardiovascular events, when it’s easiest to treat.

Up to 50% of those who have suffered heart attacks had “normal” cholesterol numbers.

How can the large discrepancy between accurate diagnosis and standard cholesterol testing be prevented? Simply by testing the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) particle numbers using the Lipoprotein Particle Profile (LPP®) from SpectraCell Laboratories.

Why is LPP® more clinically useful?

Because there are two issues: (1) assessing risk and (2) how best to treat it. LPP® addresses both. While both NMR and LPP® report lipoprotein particles, NMR-derived particle numbers only identify patients at high risk of heart disease, while Spectracell’s LPP® identifies high-risk patients and reports data on how to best treat the patient. This is key because the most effective course of treatment depends on which specific lipoprotein is elevated. In fact, research suggests that NMR lipoprotein particle reports are no more clinically useful than standard lipid or apolipoprotein cholesterol tests. 

Measuring the lipoprotein subgroups is the only way to evaluate new risk factors, which is crucial for an accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk—according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).

NCEP Risk Factors:

  • Small, dense LDL: these atherogenic particles are easily oxidized and penetrate the arterial endothelium to form plaque
  • Lp(a): this small, dense LDL is involved in thrombosis
  • RLP (Remnant Lipoprotein): is very atherogenic, has a similar composition and density of plaque, is believed to be a building block of plaque and does not need to be oxidized like other LDL particles
  • HDL2b: positively correlates with heart health because it is an indicator of how well excess lipids are removed