Private MD Labs Offers Novel Test for Predicting Heart Disease

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Private MD Labs now provides a new test to predict risk for coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis, which may be used in conjunction with a lipid profile and C-Reactive Protein (CRP). The “PLAC” test measures Lp-PLA2, or lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2. A major study found that elevated levels of Lp-PLA2 activity could be a risk marker for cardiovascular events.

There were several important findings that may influence the clinical use of this emerging biomarker

Private MD Labs now provides a new test to predict risk for coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis, which may be used in conjunction with a lipid profile and C-Reactive Protein (CRP).

The “PLAC” test measures Lp-PLA2, or lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2. Private MD Labs offers the new test alone or with traditional risk factor assessment tools including lipid and cholesterol profiles, high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP) and serum homocysteine levels. A major study found that elevated levels of Lp-PLA2 activity could be a risk marker for cardiovascular events.

Researchers divided subjects into five, equal-sized groups based on their level of Lp-PLA2. Those in the group with the highest levels were at higher risk for an event compared with those in the lower-level group. The association remained even when data were adjusted for age and other factors.

"There were several important findings that may influence the clinical use of this emerging biomarker," said study lead author Michelle O'Donoghue, MD, research fellow in the TIMI Study Group, Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts).

Lp-PLA2, also known as platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase, is found in blood and atherosclerotic plaque and has been associated with the risk of cardiovascular events in primary prevention, but little had been known about its prognostic role.

The study appeared in the April 11, 2006 issue of Circulation.

Individuals may request the “PLAC” test via a secure Web site, without a doctor’s order or referral. The site, http://www.privatemdlabs.com, helps the individual identify a lab in their area and purchase the test. They receive an e-mail with the address of a Patient Service Center (lab), have the test done (in this case, a small blood sample is taken), and usually get the results 24 to 48 hours after their visit. An e-mail notification is sent to the patient with a secure Web link where the results can be downloaded confidentially.

Private MD Services has invested in secure, user-friendly software and uses licensed physicians to analyze the test data and provide the lab results of hundreds of lab tests. The following is a sample of the testing available through Private MD Lab Services : autoimmune diseases, blood and blood diseases, prostate cancer disease, diabetes, female specific tests, gastrointestinal diseases, general wellness tests, heart health and cholesterol, hormones and metabolism, infectious diseases, kidney disease, liver disease, male specific tests, musculoskeletal diseases and sexually transmitted diseases.

Private MD ~ 1140 Hammond Drive, Suite 9100, Building I ~ Atlanta, GA 30328

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