cardiovascular disease

Inexpensive Test Helps Detect Hidden CV Disease

Adding multimarker cardiovascular inflammation testing to standard cholesterol tests could prevent thousands of heart attacks and strokes, according to a new study.

The additional tests are inexpensive, ranging from $20 to $50 each, and check a patient’s blood for 3 biomarkers of cardiovascular inflammation:

  • Myeloperoxidase, an enzyme found at the site of an infection
  • Lp-PLA2, a blood vessel enzyme that can warn of the presence of plaque
  • High-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a protein found when inflammation occurs


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Researchers noted that increasing the scope of testing is important since many people with cardiovascular disease have normal cholesterol levels.

In order to quantify the clinical and economic benefits of more accurate biomarker tests, researchers from Cleveland HeartLab and economists from the Analysis Group studied the effects these tests would have if implemented within a commercially insured US heath plan with 1 million members. 

The results suggest that these tests would prevent 2018 heart attacks and 1848 strokes, resulting in $180.6 million in savings over a 5-year period. 

“The model demonstrates that multimarker inflammation testing not only can avert predictable CVD events and save lives, it can also help reduce the enormous cost burden of acute heart attack and stroke, which is the single most costly item in the nation’s healthcare budget,” they concluded.

The data was presented at the annual meeting of the International Society of PharmacoEconomics and Outcomes Research.

–Michael Potts


Cleveland HeartLab. Cleveland HeartLab Presents Research Demonstrating its Prognostic Tests can save $180 Million in Healthcare costs related to Cardiovascular Disease, the Number One killer of Men and Women in the US [press release]. June 2, 2014. Accessed June 4, 2014.