What's it for?
Blood tests are used for many purposes in the diagnosis, treatment and management of heart disease.
Your blood offers many clues about your heart health. For example, high levels of "bad" cholesterol in your blood can be a sign that you're at increased risk of having a heart attack. And other substances in your blood can help your doctor determine if you have heart failure or are at risk of developing plaques in your arteries (atherosclerosis).
It's important to remember that one blood test alone doesn't determine your risk of heart disease and that the most important risk factors for heart disease are smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Most common blood tests and what they are used for:
- Cardiac biomarkers. These tests are used to diagnose a heart attack by determining if heart cells have been damaged.
- Lipid blood tests. Provides information on your levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are associated with risk of heart disease.
- Lipoprotein, homocysteine and fibrinogen tests. These blood tests help to determine your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
- C-reactive protein. A blood test that identifies high levels inflammation and an increased risk for heart disease.
- Blood tests for anticoagulants. These tests help your doctor to determine if you are taking a safe level of blood thinners.
- Blood sugar tests. Several different tests are used to determine if you have diabetes, how severe your diabetes has been and whether or not your diabetes treatment is effective.
- B-type natriuretic peptide test. This blood test helps doctors to identify and determine the severity of heart failure.
- Electrolyte tests. Used to determine the effectiveness of various treatments and also to detect liver, heart and kidney disease.
- Blood count. Used to diagnose and monitor various heart conditions and the effectiveness of drugs or other treatments.
How it's done
Blood may be drawn at a lab, in your hospital room or in the emergency room. Your blood is then sent to a central laboratory where various tests are performed. Your doctor will be sent a report with the lab results.
Technology and expertise at Lee Health
Lee Health has labs located in hospital and out-patient locations throughout Lee County. These labs offer the widest range of blood tests for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
Who to contact
For customer service or more information concerning Lee Lab Services, call 239-424-3177.