Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A random pan India PLAC study, conducted by Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, has found that over 30% between the age group 30 and 50 years were at high risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease emerged as India’s top killer around the mid-1980s and ever since, it has been a growing threat.
According to the recent WHO data, one in three Indians succumb to cardiovascular diseases and an increasing number of individuals less than 40 years are developing cardiac disease or risk factors associated with cardiac disease.
It is important to detect these conditions for early intervention and the good news is that a battery of tests is available to make early screening.
Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, a multinational pathology chain recently conducted a pan India PLAC study on over 300 samples. Out of the 311 samples analysed, it found that over 30% between the age group 30 and 50 years were at high risk for developing coronary heart disease.
Overall, it has been observed that 50% heart attacks occur in patients with normal cholesterol levels.
Traditional markers of cardiovascular risk such as total cholesterol levels, HDL, LDL, VLDL and triglycerides tell physicians very little about acute risk of heart attack simply because these tests do not include any inflammatory markers. So, individuals with moderate risk as determined by these standard tests may actually be at a greater risk of developing heart attack or stroke than predicted.
What is the PLAC Test?
The PLAC test or the Lp-PLA2 (Lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2) test is a simple blood test that predicts the risk of heart attack & stroke in the next 5 years. It is a simple test which can tell you how healthy your heart is and measures the enzyme activity of Lp-PLA2 level in the body.
Why PLAC Test?
It has been observed that individuals with normal cholesterol levels and higher levels of PLAC are at a greater risk of developing heart attack. Likewise, individuals with high cholesterol but low levels of PLAC are at a lower risk of developing heart attack and continue to lead a normal life.
Hence the PLAC test acts as an independent marker of heart health which is imperative of your cholesterol levels.
How does the PLAC test work?
Heart attacks occur when the supply of oxygen rich blood is cut off to the heart. Over the years, when plaque (wax like substance that is made up of fat and cholesterol) accumulates in the arteries carrying blood to the heart, it results in heart disease. When plaque ruptures it leads to heart attack.
LP-PLA2 is an enzyme that is involved in the formation of a plaque that is prone to rupture. Thus people with increased levels of blood level of Lp-PLA2 are at a greater risk of developing heart attack and stroke.
Who should undergo this test?
In December 2014, the US FDA has approved this as a screening test in all adults with no history of heart disease. Apart from this, Lp-PLA2 (PLAC) test is recommended in 4 major guidelines.
Metropolis Healthcare Ltd has become one of the few laboratories in India to offer PLAC Test.