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HEART HEALTH: What blood tests identify conditions that affect heart function?

Blood tests are a tool used by medical experts to evaluate your health.

Blood tests can be used to monitor your condition and the effects of any medications you are taking if you already have a heart or circulation disease.

Types of blood tests

Blood tests used to assess heart conditions are:

1. Cardiac enzyme assessments (including troponin tests)

These tests aid in the diagnosis or exclusion of a heart attack. A protein called troponin T is present in the heart muscle. The doctor can detect a heart attack and ascertain the likelihood of developing heart disease by measuring troponin T. Those who have no signs of heart disease are at an increased risk of developing CVD if their troponin T levels are higher.

2. Complete blood count (CBC) or full blood count (FBC)

This test reveals details on the various components of your blood, including your platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells. It can also identify anemia (low red blood cell counts).

3. Thyroid function tests (TFTs)

Heart illness and unnatural heart rhythms are associated with thyroid disorders. TFTs can determine whether your thyroid gland, which creates the hormone thyroxine, is hyperactive or underactive. If the levels are abnormal, they may be connected to certain cardiac diseases and symptoms like palpitations or a fast or slow heartbeat.

4. Lipid profile

The blood fats are measured by a cholesterol test, often known as a lipid panel or lipid profile. The measures can be used to calculate your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. This test assesses your blood's healthy and bad fat composition as well as your cholesterol level.

5. Lipoprotein (a), or Lp(a)

Lp(a) is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) attached to a protein called apo (a). High levels of Lp(a) increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, fatty buildup in veins after coronary artery bypass surgery, and narrowing of coronary arteries after angioplasty.

6. Liver function tests

The liver is a crucial organ with a variety of uses. This examination reveals the liver's overall health, which, if it isn't operating properly, could have a significant negative effect on the body as a whole.

7. Clotting screen

These tests gauge the speed at which your blood clots. There are many tests used for screening for clotting example Prothrombin Time, and Fibrinogen which can be used to detect heart defects. For example, fibrinogen aids in blood clotting, but too much of it raises the risk of a heart attack.

8. BNP (B-type natriuretic peptides) tests

These show the hormone level in your blood, which if it is elevated, may be an indication of heart failure. The heart and blood vessels produce a protein called brain natriuretic peptide, also known as B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). BNP relaxes blood vessels, transfers sodium into the urine, and aids in fluid elimination. High amounts of BNP are released by the body into the bloodstream when the heart is injured in an effort to lessen the pressure on the organ. BNP is used extensively to try to ascertain whether shortness of breath is caused by heart failure.

9. Urea and Electrolytes test

Blood contains a protein called urea. The results of an electrolytes test reveal the concentrations of sodium, potassium, and other vital substances like magnesium and calcium in your blood. These substances support the overall health of your heart and aid in the evaluation of renal function. Blood chemistry imbalances can be related to any medications you may be taking.

10. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein

The body produces the protein C-reactive protein (CRP) in response to injury or illness, which results in swelling inside the body (inflammation). An important factor in the development of atherosclerosis is inflammation. Tests for high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) can predict the risk of heart disease even before any symptoms appear. Heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease are all linked to higher hs-CRP levels.

Ask your doctor if you need to stop taking any prescription drugs, vitamins, or supplements prior to the blood test. A blood test's outcomes can occasionally be impacted by specific drugs. Be sure to consult your doctor before quitting any medicine.

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