I know this is a random healthcare post and you may be thinking, how are these biomarkers related to Family in Africa? Hell, some readers may be thinking, “what is a biomarker”. They are related in two ways. One, I’m a medical doctor and I practice preventative medicine that promotes healthy living and two with longevity in mind together with healthy bodies reminds up of the importance of staying disease free far into the future, to enjoy many more overland, holiday adventures and those priceless times with family and friends on this planet earth.
It’s of my personal medical opinion that 21st century healthcare should be played within a preventative environment i.e. early screening /detection and early treatment which becomes paramount in securing better survival outcomes! You remember the time old tested statement, “Prevention is better than cure” is the key and in my opinion, so true. I’m particularly astounded by how many people know so little about the benefit of early healthcare screening, particularly relating to lipoprotein phospholipase A2 (LP-PLA2).
Biomarkers can help make this possible through specific health screen tests that we can subject ourselves to in order to detect early signs of pathology. Today there are new biomarkers coming onto the market which are even more specific for disease and can detect it early before it can become established and impact on our lives physically. My concern is that so many non medical people know very little about them and how they can hold key longevity secrets for regular users. Biomarkers allow us to detect disease early and apply the appropriate early treatment so that disease processes in many cases can be irradiated or well controlled.
So I think there is a direct link is between biomarkers and longevity. Approximatelly 25% of all deaths across the USA is caused by Cardiac Artery Disease (CAD) and there could be a good argument to say that this can be reflected across all Western societies which follow similar dietary and stress lifestyles to the USA. In fact CAD is the biggest killer through out health sectors even more so than cancer put together. So surely we individuals especially those responsible for the livelihood of families should be undertaking methods to mitigate CAD and should undertake the appropriate biomarker tests to promote healthier living.
Now it’s here that I would like to introduce a newish biomarker blood test called lipoprotein phospholipase (LP-PLA2) which may sound foreign to you, but to those who know what this enzyme does; it may hold some really favourable early health detection properties to promote longevity and pave better strategies for dealing with CAD. LP-PLA2 also holds great possibilities in people who are taking drugs against CAD in order to see how effective these drugs are with the CAD disease process.
It’s also really important to remember that traditional markers of cardiovascular risk such as cholesterol levels tells us physicians very little about acute risk of stroke or heart attack. Standard cholesterol are very meaningless, in fact some studies have showed that up to 50-70% acute heart attacks have shown normal cholesterol levels on admission to the hospital; quiet a startling statistic!
Although LDL and other lipids are not consistent predictors of stroke risk, elevated Lp-PLA2 approximately doubles stroke risk.
LP-PLA2 is an enzyme specifically found in inflammatory plaque which are found within pathological sites within atherosclerotic process within peoples vasculature i.e. those people suffering from CAD. Now it’s when these plaque lesions rupture they tend to create a clot that forms on the ruptured vessel bed and with continued clot forming usually results in a partial or total vessel occlusion which results in a heart attack or stroke. These acute events can cause minor or significant damage or even death and those who do survive may suffer continuos consequences there of and may need much time for rehabilitation. The pathology resulting in inflammation can be changes in the actual vessel wall structure i.e. aneurisms (ballooning), fault heart valves and heart size changes.
This all costs money, time and mental motivation. My point is, wouldn’t it be better to detect these lesions and pathological processes early though screening tests that pick up CAD activity and allow you and your healthcare professional to pave the way to a better preventative route to help mitigate the destructive acute event that may occur in Western societies largest CAD epidemic!
Early detection can help develop the appropriate prevention strategies that compromise of lifestyle modification (better dietary plans), exercise and or additional pharmacological intervention which may be appropriate in high risk patients. Early prescription of statin cholesterol lowering agents e.g. Lipitor (Atorvastatin) may hold some benefit, but something that you should talk to your healthcare physician about, especially if you have a family CAD history and your LP-LPA2 level is above >235ng/dl. You will need regular monitoring, but up to 95% of patients have no problem taking statins.
If you are bold and can come to terms about the role of primary healthcare screening within the 21st century, you may begin to pave the way to a great longevity strategy that will allow you to spend more time with your family, friends and all the universal things that give you meaning. I love the great outdoors and every extra minute in the 4X4 and within the safari game reserves gives me the focus to look deeper into new pioneering healthcare primary screening possibilities.
Remember early detection is usually associated with better survival outcomes! Don’t hide from it, face it and be onto of it like your annual taxes, I hope.
So please pass this onto friends and family because I think LP-PL2 is going to become a really important CAD preventative test and one to help promote longevity. LP-PLA2 will become more available esp. in emerging economies in the near future, so you can begin familiarising your self with them and their benefits.