Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
Either you or your physician can request a consultation with a doctor at NYU Langone’s Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease by calling us at 212-263-0855. We offer a range of tests that can diagnose heart disease both before symptoms have occurred and after, and assess the risk factors that predispose a person to heart disease and stroke.
The tests we offer include the following.
24-Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring
In some people, blood pressure readings taken during an office visit may be abnormally high, called white coat hypertension, or falsely low, called masked hypertension. These people are given a portable device to record their blood pressure over a 24-hour period. This helps us more accurately determine whether a person usually has high blood pressure and requires treatment.
Advanced Lipid Profile
An advanced lipid profile test gives us a more accurate picture of your risk for cardiovascular disease than the standard lipid profile test received during an annual physical.
With an advanced lipid profile test, we can measure the individual particle size and numbers that make up LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol, which can be a better predictor of your risk for heart disease and stroke. This test may be particularly beneficial in people already on statins, those with diabetes or prediabetes, and for people who have a family history of early heart disease or stroke.
The ankle-brachial index test measures the blood pressure in the arm and then compares it with the blood pressure in different segments of the legs to screen for peripheral artery disease, a condition that causes decreased blood pressure in the legs and may indicate atherosclerosis in the arteries of the aorta or lower extremities, or both. The test is useful for determining decreased blood flow, even at early stages of disease, which can change the course of treatment.
Carotid IMT Evaluation
In a carotid intimal-medial thickness evaluation (IMT), an ultrasound is used to measure the thickness of the two innermost layers of the wall of the carotid artery in your neck. Although this is not the same as examining your coronary artery, studies of thousands of people worldwide have shown that the thickening of the carotid artery or the actual presence of plaque can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Coronary Calcium Scoring
In a coronary calcium scoring test, CT scans are taken of the heart to detect the amount of plaque on your coronary artery walls. Plaque can block blood flow to your heart and be an indicator of early cardiovascular disease.
Endothelial Health Testing
The cells that line the coronary arteries are called endothelial cells. For optimal cardiovascular health, these cells should be in a calm, non-irritated state. New technologies allow us to use brachial artery reactivity testing (BART) and EndoPAT™, which are specialized, noninvasive tests that measure vascular function. Abnormal vascular function is sometimes the first sign of cardiovascular disease and may suggest that disease has already started to affect the arteries. People who have abnormal vascular function are at heightened risk for cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.
Increased levels of a protein known as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), which is measured through a blood test, may signal inflammation in your arteries. This inflammation may contribute to or be an indicator of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and increase your odds of having a heart attack or stroke.
Having an elevated high-sensitivity CRP has been shown to predict the risk of heart disease, even in people with relatively normal cholesterol, and is also linked to a significant increase in risk for heart attack or stroke in generally healthy people.