Center For Cholesterol Management Launches As Southern California’s Only Free-Standing Clinic To Offer NMR Advanced Lipid Testing

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Center Uses State-of-the-Art Technology to Gauge Patients’ Lipoprotein Particle Number – the Single Biggest Predictor of Heart Disease

The Center for Cholesterol Management launched today as the only free-standing facility in Southern California to deliver state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of lipid disorders using the NMR LipoProfile® test.

It is the only test that provides both traditional lipids and the number of atherogenic particles to better identify and manage patients at risk for coronary heart disease.

“It was once thought that knowing a patient’s good cholesterol, or HDL, and bad cholesterol, or LDL, was enough,” said Michael Richman, M.D., F.A.C.S, F.C.C.P, founder and director of the Center for Cholesterol Management. “Researchers have just begun to understand the importance of monitoring overall heart health by examining lipoprotein particles in addition to traditional cholesterol levels.”

The case for testing lipoprotein particles, the small spheres that transport cholesterol in the blood and allow it to penetrate the walls of coronary arteries, has been strengthened by research in recent years. Studies, such as the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) released at the American Heart Association annual meeting in November 2005, concluded that – across all ethnic populations – LDL-P was the single biggest predictor of coronary heart disease(1).

Tests such as the NMR LipoProfile® that measure the quantity and size of lipoprotein particles, are being touted as the new method of analysis to accurately predict whether patients are at risk for heart disease. It has been determined that the smaller and, therefore, greater the number of lipoprotein particles in the blood (along with other predictors) – the higher the likelihood of developing heart disease.

Dr. Richman likens lipoproteins to cars that carry “passengers” along a highway, and the “passengers” to cholesterol. “It's not the number of passengers that causes the traffic jam, it is the number of cars,” he said.

The philosophy of the Center for Cholesterol Management is to employ a multi-disciplinary approach to lipid treatment and cholesterol testing. Depending on each patient’s needs, Dr. Richman taps into a cross-section of experts – physicians, nurses, dietitians and physical therapists – to develop a customized, preventive care and heart health management program for those who have high cholesterol, heart disease, or those who are at risk for developing coronary artery disease.

Facts About Heart Disease and Lipoprotein Testing

The American Heart Association has reported that cardiovascular (heart) disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Heart disease involves a number of conditions affecting the structure or function of the heart, including coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, heart failure and congenital heart disease. It is estimated that as many as 50 percent of heart attacks strike people with so-called “normal” cholesterol levels(2).

While taking a traditional test to gauge HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels is important, this somewhat outdated method provides a limited view of true heart health and does not allow a physician to accurately assess the risk factors for heart disease. For instance, many patients have an unhealthy lipoprotein profile that cannot be identified via a traditional cholesterol test. That is why it is important to test the LDL-P number to ascertain true risk and subsequently develop a treatment program to lower cholesterol, based on a patient’s individual needs.

"Tragically, most people find out they have coronary artery disease when they have a sudden, acute heart attack," explains Thomas Dayspring, M.D., clinical instructor in medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Newark), and member of the American Heart Association's Counsel on Atherosclerosis. "A third of these patients die that very day. We could identify almost every one of them, with a lipoprotein risk analysis prior to that heart attack. And we could take action to reduce the risk - preventing needless, life-threatening events.”

With tests such as the NMR LipoProfile® gaining popularity in medical practice, it is recommended that patients visit a physician who specializes in LDL-P testing to ensure the most accurate assessment and treatment possible.

(1) Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health – Presented at the American Heart Association 2005 Annual Meeting; 2002-Ongoing

(2) Source: Centers for Disease Control

About The Center For Cholesterol Management

Established in August 2005, The Center for Cholesterol Management is the only free-standing facility in Southern California to deliver state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of lipid disorders using the NMR LipoProfile® test. It is the only test that provides both traditional lipids and the number of atherogenic particles to better identify and manage patients at risk for coronary heart disease. The Center employs a multi-disciplinary approach to lipid treatment and cholesterol testing and develops programs, based on each patient’s needs.

By tapping into a cross-section of experts - physicians, nurses, dietitians and physical therapists – the Center develops customized, preventative and management programs for high cholesterol, heart disease and those at risk for developing coronary artery disease.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the Center’s website at http://www.lipidcenter.com or call 310-481-3939.

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Todd Appleman
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