Maintaining cholesterol levels is of vital importance for a better heart health. But recent studies have found that only checking cholesterol levels cannot give a complete picture of the risk of cardiovascular event. Researchers at Mayo Clinic, U.S.A have found that checking ceramide levels in the blood may predict the chances of cardiovascular problems even when there is no history of heart problems. The clinical study has found that a person can still develop heart-related problems such as blockage, heart attack or stroke due to high ceramide levels, even if the LDL-C level (bad cholesterol) is within the normal range.
The test measures the concentration of plasma ceramides, a type of lipids that are seen in connection with cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that people with higher plasma ceramide levels are three to four times more at risk of developing heart problems. Around five per cent people with high ceramide levels develop cardiovascular problems every year. Studies have also shown that plasma ceramides test can predict the incidence of heart event in people in three to five years within the occurrence of coronary artery disease and in one year within the occurrence of coronary artery disease.
Plasma ceramides test is predictive in nature and provides an insight into the heart health. The test can help the doctors in predicting cardiovascular incidence keeping in view the factors such as age, gender, cardiovascular history, heart surgery, smoking etc. It can help in taking appropriate measures to prevent heart event among people who had no previous history and avoid reoccurrence if there is any previous history of heart problem.