Heart Disease Detection: The Importance of Blood Test

Heart Disease Detection: The Importance of Blood Test

Did you know that a simple blood test can tell a lot about your cardiovascular health and help with the detection of heart disease or other heart health issues? For example, higher bad cholesterol levels can point to a greater heart attack risk. Other blood substances can be a sign of heart failure or atherosclerosis.

With that in mind, blood tests aren’t only used for general health screening but for cardiac screening as well. It is indeed essential that you do regular blood tests for early detection of any cardiovascular health issues.

Now, let’s have a look at some common blood tests used for diagnosing, managing, and preventing heart disease.

Common Blood Tests for Heart Health

  1. Cholesterol Test

A lipid panel or lipid profile, also known as a cholesterol test, is a blood test used to determine the level of fats in the blood. It can point to a risk of a heart attack or heart disease. In general, a cholesterol test measures:

  • Total cholesterol – the amount of cholesterol content in the blood.
  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol – the amount of LDL cholesterol, also called bad cholesterol, in the blood.
  • HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol – the amount of HDL cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol, in the blood.
  • Triglycerides – the levels of triglycerides, another type of fat, in the blood.
  • Non-HDL cholesterol – the amount left after subtracting HDL cholesterol from total cholesterol.


  1. High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein

High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) is yet another common blood test used for heart health monitoring. CRP is produced by the liver in response to an injury or an infection causing inflammation inside the body. How is this related to cardiovascular health? Namely, inflammation can lead to atherosclerosis, thus putting you at a higher risk of heart disease. That said, this blood test can even point to a cardiovascular risk before the symptoms occur.

  1. Lipoprotein (a)

Lipoprotein (a), known as Lp(a), is basically a type of LDL cholesterol and its levels can be affected by genes, not by lifestyle choices. Hence, if your blood test shows high levels of Lp(a) you aren’t the one to blame and you are likely to have a family history of heart disease, stroke, or even death caused by heart issues. So, a higher level of Lp(a) is a sign of a higher risk of heart disease although it’s not clear hum much of a risk it encompasses.

  1. Plasma Ceramides

A plasma ceramides blood test measures the ceramide levels in the blood. Namely, all cells make ceramides which play a huge role in the growing, working, and dying processes of different types of tissues.

What’s more, ceramides have been connected to atherosclerosis, as well as insulin resistance which can cause type 2 diabetes. So, because of these connections ceramides have with plaque buildup and insulin resistance, this specific blood test is needed for early detection of heart disease.

  1. Natriuretic Peptides

The next blood test for assessing cardiovascular risk is brain natriuretic peptides which is a protein produced by the heart and blood vessels. It is also known as B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). This protein helps the body eliminate fluids, relaxes blood vessels, and moves sodium into the urine where it belongs. In case of heart damage, BNP levels increase to ease the function of the heart and are crucial for determining if shortness of breath is a result of heart failure.

  1. Troponin T

Last but not least, among the common blood tests for heart health is the high-sensitivity troponin T blood test. Troponin T is a protein that can be found in the heart muscle and can point to a heart attack. It can also show an increased risk of heart disease, especially in people who don’t experience any symptoms of cardiovascular health issues.