How to figure out your blood test results tool
Published: 17 Sep 2023
When you see a healthcare provider, they may order certain blood tests to help determine your cardiac risk, including:
Lipid profile, including blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides
High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)
Along with a detailed medical history and physical exam, these blood tests can help paint a picture of your overall heart health and risk for cardiovascular disease.
Since lab values can differ slightly from lab to lab, and because every "body" is different, it is important that you discuss your results with your healthcare provider so you can know what your blood test results mean for you and your health. We will discuss these tests in more detail here, along with the "ideal level" for each of these tests. Ideal levels are usually set based on large research studies. Below, we'll identify which blood tests can give insights into your heart health and when they are useful. During routine medical visits, your physician may recommend you get standard blood tests to check your overall health. Blood tests that can determine your risk of heart disease
Your individual risk of heart disease is determined by several factors, such as your age, family history, and other medical conditions. Based on your age, family history, and risk factors, you may also need additional blood tests to determine your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and strokes).
In people experiencing heart symptoms, different, more specialized tests can determine if there is an immediate heart problem or if there has been heart damage.
If the results are higher than recommended, you may be asked to go to your hospital for a full blood test.
Usually, the blood bottles contain small amounts of a chemical to stop your blood clotting in the tube, so it can be measured accurately in the lab. Blood tests are usually done to check how your body copes with illness, injury, inflammation, infection and some types of medication. Each bottle is labelled with your name, date of birth and hospital number, when the blood was taken, and has a different coloured top according to the type of test. These help monitor your risk of heart and circulatory diseases and diabetes, or how your condition is being managed.
Tests for different chemicals and proteins can indicate how your liver or kidneys are working. Then they are taken to be analysed.
Blood tests can be used for many different things, including to check cholesterol and blood glucose levels. If blood test results are abnormal, it gives the doctors a good indication of how to treat you or prevent problems occurring in the future.
This may be done in hospital or by your GP or practice nurse. Blood needs a very precise balance in order for your body to work well. A test for troponin can help to diagnose a heart attack, and a test for brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) can help diagnose heart failure.
If you take warfarin, your INR level (a measure of how quickly your blood will clot) will be tested regularly to make sure that you are prescribed the correct dose.If you're having an NHS health check, your blood test is usually a quick finger prick test that looks at the blood's glucose and cholesterol levels.