Women should ask their physicians for tests that will give faster results regarding their cholesterol and triglyceride levels, says Dr. Lori Mosca, who recently co-authored new guidelines for women’s heart health with Emory cardiologist Dr. Nanette K. Wenger.
Women should ask their physicians for tests that will give faster results regarding their cholesterol and triglyceride levels, says Dr. Lori Mosca, who recently co-authored new guidelines for women’s heart health with Emory cardiologist Dr. Nanette K. Wenger. Mosca said technology exists for doctors and their patients to find out the patient’s crucial lipid and triglyceride levels within four minutes, and that women should press their doctors for the tests. “This is one of the major impediments to good heart health,” Mosca said. “Doctors need to treat cholesterol more urgently.” Typically, results from blood work during a yearly checkup are mailed to a patient about two weeks after an appointment. Or, sometimes, an office administrator calls patients to inform them of the test results. Mosca believes that many women never get the results of those tests. In view of findings showing that more than 70 percent of women don’t know their cholesterol and triglyceride levels, Mosca thinks the system breaks down at some point, probably in the delay of information and the hassles of reaching a patient by telephone or even through the mail. The guidelines were released last month by the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the threat of heart disease, which kills more than 500,000 American women every year. Mosca is urging women to press their doctors for newer technology that will allow them to know their numbers within minutes. An example is Cholestech, a cholesterol and triglyceride measuring device developed by LDX. The test involves a finger prick for a tiny drop of blood. The analysis takes four minutes, so the results are ready while the patient is still in the examination room. “There is no comparison to this technology,” Mosca said. Most of the tests are covered by insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Mosca and other doctors urge women to speak to their physicians about having the fast tests in the office. “It’s going to require a shift in primary care, but it’s worth it.” Virginia Anderson writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. E-mail: email@example.com Editor Notes:Story Filed By Cox Newspapers For Use By Clients of the New York Times News Service (Source: Cox News Service, Medline Plus, March 2004)