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Study of 1.3 Million Americans Reveals Dangerous Cholesterol Guessing Game

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Research shows significant underestimation of heart disease risk with 40-year-old cholesterol test, highlights need for direct LDL measurement with VAP(R) Lipid Panel

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Cil Frazier thought she was the picture of good health. The Birmingham resident said she exercises, is not overweight, and goes in every year for a physical. "For decades, I have been told that I have cholesterol levels to be envied," said Frazier, the marketing director at NBC13 WVTM-TV. "But the cholesterol test came back and I got a call and they said, 'Get in. Your levels are way off, and you're at risk.'"

Frazier's physician used the VAP(R) (Vertical Auto Profile) Lipid Panel, a cardiovascular risk technology that takes cholesterol testing to the next level. In addition to revealing a more accurate picture of her heart health, she also found that she has an elevated genetic marker for heart disease and informed her siblings, telling them to ask their physician for a VAP.

Frazier is like millions of patients whose doctors and health care providers are choosing comprehensive lipid assessments for a more accurate picture of cardiovascular risk. The VAP Lipid Panel digs much deeper than the commonly used cholesterol test and tells you exactly what is going on with your heart health.

A clinical study published in today's print edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) discovered that the basic lipid panel is often inaccurate. Based on the Friedewald equation and a medical technology that has been used for more than 40 years to estimate LDL cholesterol, the basic lipid panel "had it wrong," said Seth Martin, M.D., the lead author of the study.

In the JACC study, Johns Hopkins University researchers compared the VAP lipid profiles of more than 1.3 million American adults with those same samples using the basic lipid panel's Friedewald equation. Researchers discovered that Friedewald consistently underestimates LDL -- misclassifying up to 60 percent of patients with triglycerides over 200 -- which could result in undertreatment of many patients, especially those who are at the highest risk.

"In nearly one out of four samples in the desirable range for people with a higher heart disease risk, the Friedewald equation had it wrong," said Martin, a clinical fellow at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. "As a result, many patients may think they achieved their LDL cholesterol target of less than 70 when, in fact, they may need more aggressive treatment to reduce their risk."

The VAP lipid profiles came from Atherotech Diagnostics Lab in Birmingham, Ala. The researchers collaborated with Atherotech to develop the massive database for the study. The database is registered on the website and will be an important resource for ongoing scientific investigation.

More than 8 million VAP Lipid Panels have been administered in America. Because LDL is directly measured with this patented lipid profile, fasting is not required of the patient. For a better understanding of potential cholesterol dangers, patients are encouraged to ask their health care provider for a comprehensive lipid profile, such as the VAP Lipid Panel.

The VAP Lipid Panel is covered by most insurance plans and is widely available to patients and their clinicians in the U.S. For information on the VAP Lipid Panel and Atherotech Diagnostics Lab, visit or call 877-901-8510. Health care professionals interested in real patient cases and lipidology commentary may visit, Atherotech's official blog. Atherotech is on Twitter at, on Facebook at, and broadcasting at

About Atherotech Diagnostics Lab & the VAP(R)+ Lipid Panel

Atherotech Diagnostics Lab is a leading clinical reference laboratory specializing in cardiometabolic testing and disease management solutions. Atherotech's proprietary and comprehensive VAP(R)+ Lipid Panel enables clinicians to accurately stratify a patient's cardiovascular risk and deliver personalized treatment strategies to improve health outcomes. The Vertical Auto Profile (VAP+) technology reveals residual cardiometabolic risk as recommended in the NCEP ATP III, ADA/ACC Joint Consensus and AACE guidelines. The VAP+ utilizes direct measurement to identify cholesterol, triglyceride and genetic lipid disorders. The company's dedication to affordable, comprehensive disease management solutions includes Our Healthy HeartTM, a patient consultation program and expert lipid management education service to health care providers. For more information, please visit or call 1-866-VAP-TEST.

Atherotech Diagnostics Lab Micki Sievwright, 651-228-1220 [email protected]

Source: Atherotech Diagnostics Lab

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