Cardio IQ™ Homocysteine Most Popular

There are no preparation instructions.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Cardio IQ Homocysteine , Homocysteine, Homocysteine Cardio IQ


*Important Information on Lab Test Processing Times: Ulta Lab Tests is committed to informing you about the processing times for your lab tests processed through Quest Diagnostics. Please note that the estimated processing time for each test, indicated in business days, is based on data from the past 30 days across the 13 Quest Diagnostics laboratories for each test. These estimates are intended to serve as a guide and are not guarantees. Factors such as laboratory workload, weather conditions, holidays, and the need for additional testing or maintenance can influence actual processing times. We aim to offer estimates to help you plan accordingly. Please understand that these times may vary, and processing times are not guaranteed. Thank you for choosing Ulta Lab Tests for your laboratory needs.

The Cardio IQ™ Homocysteine test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Homocysteine test is a laboratory test that measures the level of homocysteine, an amino acid, in the blood. Homocysteine is produced during the metabolism of methionine, an essential amino acid. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood may be associated with certain health conditions and diseases.

Also Known As: Homocysteine Cardiac Risk Test, Homocysteine Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting for at least 8 hours is preferred

This is a Cardio IQ™ test and will likely need an additional 5-7 days for processing compared to the standard version of the test, Homocysteine #31789.

When is a Homocysteine test ordered?

A Homocysteine test may be ordered in various situations:

  1. Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk: It is commonly ordered to evaluate the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events.

  2. Diagnosis of Homocystinuria: Homocystinuria is a rare genetic disorder characterized by the inability to properly metabolize homocysteine. Testing homocysteine levels can aid in diagnosing this condition.

  3. Monitoring Treatment Efficacy: For individuals receiving treatment for elevated homocysteine levels, such as vitamin supplementation, regular monitoring of homocysteine levels helps assess the effectiveness of the treatment.

What does a Homocysteine blood test check for?

Homocysteine is an amino acid that is found in trace amounts in all of the body's cells. The body generally converts homocysteine to other compounds fast. Because vitamins B6, B12, and folate are required for homocysteine metabolism, elevated levels of the amino acid could indicate a vitamin deficit. The level of homocysteine in the blood is determined by this test.

Increased homocysteine levels have also been linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and artery hardening. Homocysteine has been linked to cardiovascular disease risk through a variety of processes, including damage to blood vessel walls and support for the production of abnormal blood clots, but no direct linkages have been established. Several studies have also found no benefit or reduction in CVD risk with folic acid and B vitamin supplementation. The American Heart Association does not believe it to be a significant risk factor for heart disease at this time.

Homocysteine levels in the blood can also be dramatically increased by a rare genetic disorder known as homocystinuria. In homocystinuria, one of multiple genes is mutated, resulting in a defective enzyme that prevents the normal breakdown of methionine, the precursor of homocysteine. Methionine is one of the eleven necessary amino acids that the body cannot make and must therefore be obtained from food.

Homocysteine and methionine build up in the body without the necessary enzyme to break them down. Babies born with this condition appear normal at birth, but develop symptoms such as a long slender build, a dislocated lens in the eye, long thin fingers, osteoporosis, skeletal abnormalities, and a significantly increased risk of thromboembolism and atherosclerosis, which can lead to premature CVD within a few years.

In addition to intellectual disability, mental illness, a little low IQ, behavioral issues, and seizures, artery blockages can induce intellectual disability, mental illness, and seizures. Some of them can be avoided if homocystinuria is diagnosed early, which is why all states screen neonates for the disease.

Lab tests often ordered with a Homocysteine test:

When a Cardio IQ Homocysteine test is ordered, it's often part of a broader assessment of cardiovascular risk and metabolic health. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Lipid Panel:

    • Purpose: Measures total cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and triglycerides.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess cardiovascular risk factors. The lipid panel helps in determining the overall risk of heart disease and stroke.
  2. High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP):

    • Purpose: A marker of inflammation in the body, with high sensitivity.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Inflammation plays a significant role in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Elevated hs-CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events.
  3. Vitamin B12 and Folate Tests:

    • Purpose: To measure levels of these vitamins, which are necessary for homocysteine metabolism.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Deficiencies in vitamin B12 and folate can lead to elevated homocysteine levels, so these tests can help identify or rule out nutritional causes of high homocysteine.
  4. Methylmalonic Acid (MMA):

    • Purpose: MMA is a marker that increases with vitamin B12 deficiency.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To help confirm a diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency, particularly when B12 test results are borderline or inconclusive.
  5. Fasting Blood Glucose and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c):

    • Purpose: Measures blood sugar control and risk of diabetes.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Diabetes and impaired glucose metabolism are significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  6. Thyroid Function Tests (TSH, Free T3, Free T4):

    • Purpose: To assess thyroid function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Thyroid hormones can influence metabolism and cardiovascular risk.
  7. Renal Function Test:

    • Purpose: To evaluate kidney function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Kidney dysfunction can affect homocysteine levels and cardiovascular risk.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Cardio IQ Homocysteine test, provide a comprehensive view of cardiovascular risk, potential metabolic issues, and underlying causes of elevated homocysteine. They are important for developing a targeted approach to reducing cardiovascular risk and managing any associated conditions. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual's overall health, family history, and risk factors.

Conditions where a Homocysteine test is recommended:

A Homocysteine test is useful in the evaluation and management of various conditions, including:

  1. Cardiovascular Diseases: Individuals with a history of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack or stroke, may require a Homocysteine test to assess their risk profile.

  2. Homocystinuria: Homocystinuria, a rare genetic disorder, results in high homocysteine levels and can lead to various health problems, including skeletal abnormalities, intellectual disability, and blood clot formation.

  3. Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency: Homocysteine levels can be elevated in individuals with deficiencies in vitamin B12 and folate. Testing homocysteine levels helps identify and manage these deficiencies.

How does my healthcare provider use a Homocysteine test?

Healthcare providers use the results of a Homocysteine test to:

  1. Assess Cardiovascular Risk: Elevated homocysteine levels may indicate an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Results help healthcare providers identify individuals who may benefit from lifestyle modifications, preventive strategies, or targeted treatments.

  2. Diagnose Homocystinuria: Extremely high homocysteine levels can be indicative of homocystinuria, prompting further evaluation and appropriate management.

  3. Guide Treatment: Monitoring homocysteine levels is crucial in assessing the effectiveness of interventions aimed at lowering homocysteine levels, such as vitamin supplementation. Test results assist healthcare providers in adjusting treatment plans and ensuring optimal management.

It is important to note that the interpretation and utilization of Homocysteine test results should be done by a qualified healthcare provider who considers the patient's medical history, symptoms, and other relevant factors. Treatment decisions are individualized based on the specific clinical context.

What do my homocysteine test results mean?

Homocysteine levels may be high in cases of suspected malnutrition, vitamin B12, or folate insufficiency. If a person does not consume enough B vitamins and/or folate through diet or supplements, the body may be unable to convert homocysteine into forms that the body can use. The level of homocysteine in the blood may rise in this scenario.

According to studies conducted in the mid- to late-1990s, those with high homocysteine levels have a substantially higher risk of heart attack or stroke than those with normal levels. The study of the relationship between excessive homocysteine levels and heart disease is still ongoing. However, considering that multiple trials studying folic acid and B vitamin supplementation have found no benefit or reduction in CVD risk, the use of homocysteine levels for risk assessment of cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke is now questionable.

A 2012 research study using various datasets, including 50,000 persons with coronary heart disease, called into question the possibility of a cause-and-effect relationship between homocysteine levels and heart disease. Although the American Heart Association recognizes a link between homocysteine levels and heart attack/stroke survival rates, it does not consider high homocysteine to be a major CVD risk factor.

While the AHA does not advocate for widespread use of folic acid and B vitamins to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, it does advocate for a balanced, nutritious diet and advises doctors to consider total risk factors as well as nutrition when treating cardiovascular disease.

Significantly elevated homocysteine concentrations in the urine and blood indicate that an infant is likely to have homocystinuria and need additional testing to confirm the reason of the increase.

Most Common Questions About the HS-CRP test:

Basic Understanding of the Test

What is the hs-CRP test?

The hs-CRP test, or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein test, is a blood test used to assess the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the body. CRP is a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation.

Why is the hs-CRP test important?

The hs-CRP test is important because it can help evaluate the risk of future coronary heart disease. It's used to identify low-level inflammation, which is linked to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up inside the arteries.

Interpreting Results

What do high levels of hs-CRP in the test results indicate?

Elevated levels of hs-CRP can indicate inflammation in the body and are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. It could also indicate an infection or a chronic inflammatory disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

What do low levels of hs-CRP in the test results mean?

Low levels of hs-CRP are typically a good sign, indicating a low level of inflammation in the body and a lower risk of heart disease.

Risk Factors and Prevention

Who is at risk of abnormal hs-CRP test results?

Individuals at risk of abnormal hs-CRP results include those with a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smokers, and those who are overweight or obese. Also, individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions may have higher levels of hs-CRP.

Can the hs-CRP test results be influenced by lifestyle factors?

Yes, lifestyle factors can significantly impact hs-CRP levels. Poor diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity can all contribute to inflammation and thus raise hs-CRP levels.

How can I maintain a low hs-CRP level to ensure normal test results?

Regular physical activity, a healthy diet low in sugar and saturated fats, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking can help keep inflammation and thus hs-CRP levels low.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Can the hs-CRP test diagnose specific diseases?

While the hs-CRP test isn't diagnostic for a specific disease, it can indicate a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and can provide insight into inflammation that might be associated with conditions such as arthritis or vasculitis.

If my hs-CRP test results are high, what will the next steps be?

If your hs-CRP test results are high, your doctor may suggest further testing to pinpoint the cause of the inflammation. They may also recommend lifestyle modifications or medication to lower the risk of heart disease.

Can treatment for inflammation or heart disease lower my hs-CRP levels?

Yes, successful treatment for inflammation or heart disease can lower your hs-CRP levels. This may involve medication, such as statins for heart disease, and lifestyle changes like improving diet, increasing physical activity, and stopping smoking.

Pre-test Considerations

What factors can affect the results of the hs-CRP test?

Certain factors can affect hs-CRP levels, including infections, chronic inflammatory diseases, and lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress levels.

Alternative Testing

Are there alternatives to the hs-CRP test for assessing heart disease risk?

Yes, other tests like lipid profile, blood pressure measurement, glucose tests, and imaging tests like coronary calcium scans can also assessheart disease risk. Your doctor will decide which tests are most suitable for you based on your individual circumstances.

Test Limitations and Considerations

Does the hs-CRP test indicate where inflammation is located in the body?

No, the hs-CRP test does not provide specific information about where inflammation is located. It measures general inflammation in the body and is not specific to any one area or condition.

Can I have a high hs-CRP level and still be healthy?

Yes, it's possible to have a high hs-CRP level and still be healthy. Elevated hs-CRP can occur with infections or other short-term diseases. Also, some people naturally have higher hs-CRP levels. However, a persistently high level can indicate chronic inflammation and increase your risk of heart disease.

Can the hs-CRP test replace other tests for heart disease?

No, the hs-CRP test does not replace other heart disease tests. It is typically used in combination with other tests and risk factors to determine an individual's overall risk of heart disease.

How is the hs-CRP test different from the standard CRP test?

The hs-CRP test is more sensitive than the standard CRP test and can detect lower levels of inflammation. This makes it more useful for determining the risk of heart disease.

Is the hs-CRP test used for monitoring disease activity in inflammatory conditions?

While the hs-CRP test can indicate inflammation, it's usually not the preferred choice for monitoring inflammatory conditions, as it lacks specificity. Specific markers for those conditions or the standard CRP test might be used instead.

How often should I have the hs-CRP test?

The frequency of the hs-CRP test depends on your individual health circumstances. If you have known risk factors for heart disease, your doctor may recommend regular testing. However, for the general population, routine testing isn't typically recommended.

Can stress impact the hs-CRP test results?

Yes, prolonged psychological stress can lead to an inflammatory response in the body, which could be reflected in higher hs-CRP levels.

If my hs-CRP test results are normal, does that mean I'm not at risk for heart disease?

A normal hs-CRP result means that your risk of developing heart disease due to inflammation is lower, but it doesn't eliminate the risk completely. There are many factors that contribute to heart disease, including genetics, lifestyle, and other health conditions.

How should I interpret my hs-CRP test result?

Interpreting your hs-CRP result should be done in context with your overall health and other risk factors for heart disease. It's best to discuss your results with your healthcare provider for a comprehensive understanding.

Can pregnancy affect hs-CRP levels?

Yes, pregnancy can cause elevated hs-CRP levels, as it involves certain physiological changes that can result in a mild inflammatory response.

Does age influence hs-CRP levels?

Yes, research suggests that hs-CRP levels can increase with age, possibly due to an increased prevalence of low-grade inflammation in older adults.

Is there a difference in hs-CRP levels between men and women?

Some studies suggest that hs-CRP levels may be slightly higher in women compared to men, but the implications of this difference are still under investigation.

Can weight loss improve my hs-CRP test results?

Yes, weight loss, especially when achieved through a combination of diet and exercise, can decrease inflammation in the body and therefore potentially lower your hs-CRP levels.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Customer Reviews