Lipid profiling - blood tests that screen for abnormalities in lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides - from the age of 20 years can help detect heart ailments at an early stage, revealed doctors on Thursday.
According to them, a person may be at high risk of heart attack if the levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides -- causes of heart ailments -- are high.
These should be screened early, especially if the person is a smoker, obese, has blood sugar level on the higher side or there is a family history of heart ailments.
"This blood test (lipid profiling) indicates results of the levels of HDL, LDL and triglycerides. An annual frequency of the test is recommended for people with diabetes or heart issues," said R.M. Chhabra, senior consultant at city-based Saroj Super Specialty Hospital.
"Triglycerides, a type of fat, if seen at elevated level, has a strong association with metabolic syndrome which has a tendency to increase the risk for heart diseases, diabetes and stroke," he added.
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases would be the largest cause of death and disability in India by 2020. By 2030, it is expected that 23 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases annually.
Medical science says that lipid profile also helps in diagnosis and making decisions about what treatment would be best if there is borderline or high risk, if found positive for heart ailments. Monitoring and maintaining healthy levels of these lipids is important in staying healthy.
Chabbra urged people to maintain the Body Mass Index (BMI) within the normal range (19 to 25), as it could determine the risk for developing obesity, another cause for heart ailments.
According to the World Heart Federation, at least 80 per cent of premature deaths from heart diseases and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors -- tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity -- are controlled.
Sudeep Singh Sachdev, a renal expert with Max Super Specialty Hospital, who gets kidney patients due to poor lifestyle, said that high blood pressure was an invitation for heart diseases, kidney ailments and stroke.
"Timely diagnosis and medications can keep a check on normal range at an early stage. Consistent high blood pressure may also be an indication for the advent of diabetes," said Sachdev.