LIMITATIONS OF THE BASIC CHOLESTEROL TEST
50% of people who experienced a cardiovascular event had recently received “normal” results on a basic cholesterol test.
Clinical evidence demonstrates the basic cholesterol test frequently and significantly underestimates LDL-C.
Over 1.3 million patients were analyzed in a recent study by Johns Hopkins University which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study found that the basic cholesterol test significantly underestimates LDL nearly 50% of the time and that error increases as triglyceride levels increase.
Not only does LDL underestimation occur frequently, it also occurs by a significant amount. Just how severe is this underestimation?
A study in Pharmacotherapy shows that the basic cholesterol test can underestimate LDL by up to 43 points in patients with triglycerides between 300 and 400 (numbers commonly found in diabetics and patients with metabolic syndrome).
How does this inaccuracy impact patient treatment? Studies show LDL-c measurements affect when and how patients are treated. Think of two patients with identical profiles, except that one patient has an LDL of 100, while the other patient has an LDL of 136. How would you treat these patients differently? What might you do for the patient with an LDL of 136 that you might not do for the patient with an LDL of 100?
What if in actuality, it’s not two patients but the same patient? The basic cholesterol test has led us to believe this patient has an LDL of 100 when it’s actually 136 when directly measured. This significant underestimation can rob your patient of the treatment he needs, all because you were given inaccurate information.
What if 100 mg/dL is really 136 mg/dL?
The VAP+ Test does not estimate LDL, but directly measures it. So you know that 100 is always 100, and 136 is always 136. Accurate results help you understand your patients’ true risk, ultimately helping you save more lives.