It’s May and Stroke Awareness Month. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability.
With stroke awareness in the news and on our patients’ minds, adding a valuable risk assessment to our patient’s lab work may create a greater sense of urgency to be compliant with treatment recommendations when they understand there is active disease present, and not just risk of disease.
The PLAC Test, developed by diaDexus, Inc. and offered with the VAP Lipid Panel from Atherotech, determines levels of Lp-PLA2 (lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2) in the blood. Individuals with elevated levels of Lp-PLA2 have been shown to have an increased risk of ischemic stroke and coronary heart disease — especially when combined with high blood pressure.
More than 30 studies have evaluated the risk of CAD and CVD when Lp-PLA2 is elevated. The optimal value appears to be under 200, although some studies have suggested even lower values.