Heart Health

Heart Health Lab Tests and health information

Do you know your heart health?

Our comprehensive heart health lab testing can detect hidden cardiac issues before they cause damage.

It's important to be aware of your heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 600,000 people each year. This doesn't have to be you! You can take steps now to protect yourself and those you love from heart disease and stroke.

With our lab tests, we can help you understand your risk factors for heart disease and find out if there are things that may put you at greater risk for a cardiovascular event, like a stroke or a heart attack. We offer blood testing services that will give us valuable information about what is going on inside your body so we can work with you to reduce these risks as much as possible.

Our heart health lab tests and panels are the most comprehensive blood tests for heart and vascular disease. They provide information on cardiovascular risk factors, including cholesterol levels, inflammation markers, and more. These lab tests can help identify if you have any of the following conditions that could lead to a heart attack or stroke: high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes mellitus type 2, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), metabolic syndrome X, chronic kidney disease (CKD).

If you want to learn more about heart health and lab tests, click here. 
Our Heart Health lab panels provide a comprehensive collection of tests and biomarkers to help discover hidden heart problems before they become life-threatening. 

Don't put it off until it's too late; get started now by ordering one of our advanced heart health lab panels from the list below.

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Heart disease is the world's biggest killer. It accounted for 20 million deaths in 2019 alone.

This has shown us more and more just how important heart health is to overall health. If you aren't checking and taking care of your heart health, you could be developing heart disease right now.

The best way to check your heart health is to get heart health tests. These blood tests can detect biomarkers related to heart health.

To learn more about these tests and how you can take care of your heart, keep reading.

What Is Heart Health?

Heart health refers to the physical condition of your heart muscle. The better you take care of your body, the better your heart will be. Better heart health lowers your risk for developing a myriad of heart conditions:

  • Blood vessel diseases like coronary artery disease
  • Infections of the heart muscle
  • Heart valve disease
  • Problems with your heart's rhythm
  • Diseases in your heart muscle

To avoid developing these kinds of conditions, you need to make sure that you're taking care of yourself. This means you need to eat right, exercise often, avoid stress, and see your physician regularly.

Other than these conditions, some patients may also have congenital heart defects. These are conditions that a patient is born with. Most of these congenital conditions are physical heart deformities.

Risk Factors for Poor Heart Health

Since heart conditions are the number one killer of people worldwide, researchers have conducted thousands of studies on the heart. As a result of all of this research, professionals have found a lot of risk factors for poor heart health:

  • Age: your risk for heart-related illnesses rises with age as your heart muscle weakens.
  • Sex: men are at a greater risk for developing heart conditions, although the risk for women increases after menopause.
  • Family History: you're more likely to develop a heart condition if one of your immediate relatives has/had a heart-related diagnosis, especially if they received the diagnosis at a young age.
  • Smoking: smoking restricts your blood vessels, leading to lower blood volume and high blood pressure, which can cause blockages in the arteries (atherosclerosis) and damage the heart over time.
  • Poor Diet: researchers have linked diets with high levels of fat, salt, sugar, and/or cholesterol to heart conditions.
  • Lack of Exercise: your heart is a muscle, and you need to work out so that it can be strong enough to sustain your blood flow.

Although you can't control your family history, age, or biological sex, you can help your heart health in other ways by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, exercising more, and avoiding smoking. Your heart will thank you later.

Pre-Existing Conditions That May Impact Heart Health

Some pre-existing conditions are linked to heart conditions. Because these kinds of chronic illnesses are linked, it's important to keep each one under control before it leads to worse things like heart failure.

Let's review some of the most common conditions that can affect your heart health.

Those with the pre-existing condition of hypertension are more likely to develop heart conditions as uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to narrowed blood vessels. If you have hypercholesterolemia (high levels of cholesterol), it can cause plaque formation in the blood vessels that can lead to atherosclerosis

Excess weight can also put unnecessary strain on the heart. So, if you're overweight or obese, the excess weight could be causing slow damage over time.

Because diabetes is tied to risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure, many scientists have found it to also be related to heart conditions.

Poor dental health is another thing to look out for. Bacteria that cause conditions like endocarditis come in through the mouth, and good dental hygiene is the first defense against them.

Lastly, too much stress can damage your arteries over time due to elevated cortisol levels in the blood.

If you are currently dealing with any of these conditions, make sure that your primary physician knows. With this information, they can take better care of you and watch out for further complications.

If you do happen to develop a heart condition due to any of these conditions, you should listen to your doctor closely. A heart condition doesn't have to be what kills you. There are ways that you can help to reverse the condition and stop it from getting worse.

Causes of Heart Diseases

The causes of heart disease depending on the kind of disease that you have. There are many kinds that a patient can develop.

Let's review the most common causes of each kind of heart disease.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) develops from a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis).

Abnormal rhythms, also known as arrhythmias, can form as a result of many conditions. These include CAD, diabetes, drug abuse, chronic stress, valvular disease, medications or supplements, high blood pressure, smoking, excessive alcohol or caffeine, and congenital defects.

Cardiomyopathy, the thickening of the heart muscle, can form from a widened left ventricle (dilated cardiomyopathy), reduced elasticity of the heart muscle (restrictive cardiomyopathy), or a genetic predisposition (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

Heart infection can develop after exposure to certain bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Valvular heart conditions can be congenital. However, some people develop them after rheumatic diseases, infections, or connective tissue disorders.

Lastly, congenital heart conditions can develop due to genetics, medications that the mother took, or maternal health conditions.

Your heart is one of the most vital organs in your body. Because it is connected to so many systemic conditions, there are many risk factors and causes that you need to keep in mind as you're making daily life choices. 

If you fear that you're at risk for developing one or more of these conditions, you should talk to your healthcare provider.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Diseases?

It's difficult to pin down a cardiac patient. Some presentations may be obvious such as those where a patient is clutching their chest. However, others aren't so obvious, like those where a patient is complaining of nausea.

Because of the close proximity and how the heart works, signs or symptoms of heart diseases can form all over the body. Here are some of the most common:

  • Chest pain, tightness, pressure, and/or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper back, or upper abdomen
  • Pain, numbness, or weakness in your arms and/or legs
  • A fluttering feeling in your chest
  • A fast or slow heart rate
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Pale gray or blue skin color
  • Easily tiring during exercise or other physical activity
  • Easily becoming short of breath during exercise or other physical activity
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and/or feet
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Generalized weakness
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Skin rashes

The signs of symptoms of heart conditions exist all over the entire body. Because of all of these manifestations, it's important to get your heart health checked often. A small rash could be a cry for help from your heart.

How Is Heart Health Measured?

There are three main ways that healthcare providers check your heart health at a checkup:

  1. Heart rate
  2. Blood pressure
  3. Lab work

First is your heart rate. Your heartbeat shouldn't be too fast or too slow. The rate that it beats tells the physician how often your heart is pumping blood out to the rest of your body.

Next is your blood pressure. This tells the physician how much pressure the blood in your body is putting on the walls of your arteries. Systolic blood pressure (the top number) tells them how much pressure is in your arteries when your heart squeezes, while diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) tells them the pressure when your heart relaxes.

Finally, physicians will order lab tests to check your heart health along with the health of systems related to your heart.

The Lab Tests to Screen, Diagnose, and Monitor for One's Heart Health

Since your heart affects your entire body, there are plenty of blood tests to check heart health. Our advanced, comprehensive heart health tests look at the following biomarkers:

  • Lp-PLA2 - inflammation marker specific to the heart
  • Lipoprotein (a) - a risk factor for developing heart disease
  • Apolipoprotein A1 - a protein that plays a role in lipid metabolism
  • Apolipoprotein B - a protein that is involved in lipid metabolism
  • MTHFR Mutation - tests for the potential for cardiac enzymes to mutate
  • Hs-CRP - finds lower levels of general inflammation in the body
  • LDL Cholesterol - the "bad" cholesterol that we want low levels of
  • Lipid Panel - looks for abnormalities in lipid levels
  • Fibrinogen - looks for acute inflammation or tissue damage
  • Homocysteine - signals vitamin deficiencies in the body
  • Complete Blood Count - reviews levels of blood cells
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel - covers electrolytes and organ function
  • BNP - a hormone produced by your heart
  • Lactate dehydrogenase - an enzyme involved in energy production
  • Cystatin C w/ eGFR - checks for normal kidney function
  • Hemoglobin A1C - a measurement of your average blood sugar over the past few months
  • Insulin - the amount of glucose-suppressing hormone you have in your body
  • Lipoprotein fractionation - a measurement of the lipids in the body
  • Myeloperoxidase Antibody (MPO) - an antibody associated with a higher risk for cardiac problems
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids - a healthy source of energy for the body
  • Vitamin D-25-Hydroxy - measurement of the amount of Vitamin D in the body

With the results of all of these heart health lab tests, you'll be able to tell whether or not you currently have or maybe are developing any heart conditions.

Remember, getting this kind of lab work early can help improve your prognosis or future outcome. If you can catch the damage early, you can prevent further damage and even reverse the damage that's been done.

Get Your Heart Health Tests With Ulta Lab Tests

So, what are you waiting for? Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. It works 24/7 for you.

You need to take care of it.

Ulta Lab Tests offers tests that are highly accurate and reliable, so you can make informed decisions about your health.

  • Secure and confidential results
  • No insurance referral is needed
  • Affordable pricing
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

Order your heart health tests today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.

Take control of your health today with Ulta Lab Tests.