1. "Calcium scoring is the number one best predictor of a future heart attack". Calcified plaque, a major warning sign of coronary artery disease, the leading cause of heart attacks, shows up at least 10 years before a heart attack or stroke hits. By catching the problem early, you can treat it before the buildup narrows arteries so severely that it triggers a heart attack.
2. This test can detect even the earliest stages before blood flow is blocked. Because it's not an x-ray, it's also helpful for women who are pregnant.
3. Cholesterol plaque injures blood vessels, triggering inflammation and raising CRP levels in your blood. That's dangerous because women with high levels of CRP may be up to four times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. A high CRP is most dangerous if you also have a waist circumference of more than 35 inches, indicating the presence of belly fat.
4. Sizing up your particles gives a clearer picture of heart risk than the conventional test: Having a lot of large particles cuts risk, while small ones raise it. The more Lp(a) you have, the worse it is too. It makes LDL particles extra sticky, so they cling to the lining of blood vessels, causing plaque and clots.
5. This is the simplest way to detect your future risk of diabetes. This disease puts you at 5 times higher risk of developing heart disease
6. A common variation in the KIF6 gene and two mutations in the APOE gene raise your heart disease risk. But these tests can help your doctor better tailor your treatment to head off a heart attack.
7. Adding Echocardiography to the standard stress test raises accuracy by as much as 85% for women. It's an excellent way to tell if your heart disease is severe enough that you could require treatments like a stent or a bypass.