Atherotech Focuses on Heart Disease Risk and Patient Education During National Cholesterol Education Month

Atherotech Focuses on Heart Disease Risk and Patient Education During National Cholesterol Education Month

<0> Armada Medical MarketingAmanda Frank, 303-623-1190 ext. 236 </0>

Health care providers across the country are managing their patients’ health risks with the VAP (Vertical Auto Profile) Lipid Panel coupled with the Atherotech Our Healthy Heartprogram. The Program’s personalized consulting and education services are provided at no cost to patients who have a VAP Lipid Panel. Our Healthy Heart provides patients with individualized lifestyle modification education based upon their test results.

Audrey D. Jowers, a registered dietitian and Our Healthy Heart Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Educator Manager, advises patients through phone, online video conferencing or in-person meetings.

“Physicians take the first step by providing their patients with a comprehensive lipid panel that targets specific risk factors, and then we collaborate with physicians to focus on topics and lifestyle modifications they feel are most important for their patients,” Jowers said. “However, patients often need more detailed explanations of their test results and assistance in understanding necessary lifestyle modifications they need to undertake. Our Healthy Heart bridges the gap between physician recommendations, patient comprehension and motivation to change behaviors.”

Stacey Smith, 46, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., got her VAP Lipid Panel from McEntyre, and it revealed that her cholesterol needed some work. After monthly meetings with Jowers and follow-up appointments with McEntyre to manage her diet and blood pressure, Smith found herself healthier than she’s ever been. She even ran her first 5K race.

“With Our Healthy Heart, I’ve learned a lot about my nutrition. My goal was to get off blood pressure medicine, and now they tell me my blood work looks fantastic! I am very proud of what I’ve done,” she said. “It’s not a diet; I changed the way I thought about eating with Atherotech’s help. And even though it’s taken two and half years to lose 50 pounds, I did it the right way.”

During September’s , Americans are reminded to get their cholesterol checked, to learn about lipid profiles, and about food and lifestyle choices to help them reach personal cholesterol goals. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and one in three adults suffers from some form of the disease. Yet more than half of all heart attack patients have normal cholesterol levels.

“The basic lipid panel misses 60 percent of those at risk because of its inability to directly measure LDL cholesterol,” said Michael E. Cobble, M.D., a primary care physician and director of Canyons Medical Center in Sandy, Utah. “The failure of the basic lipid panel to identify true heart disease risk in addition to hidden risk highlights the importance of obtaining direct lipid measures and comprehensive results from the VAP Lipid Panel.”

Cobble depends on the VAP Lipid Panel as a more detailed yet cost-effective alternative to the basic lipid panel. Developed by Birmingham-based Atherotech Diagnostics Lab, the VAP Lipid Panel directly measures not only cholesterol and triglycerides, but also hereditary markers that can tell if a patient is at risk for heart attack, stroke and metabolic syndrome. And patients need not fast before getting their blood drawn.

“The basic cholesterol test I used in the past wasn’t giving me the whole picture of my patients’ heart health,” said Clint McEntyre, M.D., a family physician from North River Primary Care in Northport, Ala. “With detailed VAP results, I can better assess what will be most helpful in reducing my patients’ heart attack risk, whether it be changes in diet, exercise, medication or all of the above.”

People with a family history or an existing condition of diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease — or who are already taking cholesterol-lowering medication — are candidates for the VAP Lipid Panel. In addition, those who don’t score within the desirable ranges of the basic lipid panel (i.e. those with triglycerides > 150, HDL < 40, LDL >130, total cholesterol > 200) should also opt for this comprehensive testing.

The VAP Lipid Panel is available nationwide and covered by most insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid. It has been featured on "The Doctors" TV show, recognized by as one of “Ten Ways to Live Longer” and lauded by the Wall Street Journal as one of “Five Tests Worth Paying For.”

Atherotech suggests patients talk to their health care provider about the VAP Lipid Panel and their risk of heart disease. For more information, visit or call 877.901.8510. Atherotech Diagnostics Lab is on Twitter at , on Facebook at , and broadcasting at .