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Heart Stopper Genes: Would You Recognize a High Risk Patient?

Author(s): Greco, K.; Bayan, M

Journal: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing
ISSN 1091-3734

Volume: 5;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2000;
Original page

Keywords: genetics | cardiovascular | coronary artery disease | cholesterol | lipoproteins

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Eighty percent of people having heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels. A quarter of the population have a condition called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) pattern B that has been associated with a threefold risk of myocardial infarction. Although early intervention can often prevent an otherwise fatal event, these patients often go unrecognized until after a myocardial infarction has occurred because they may not have the usual risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. In patients with LDL pattern B, the standard lipid panel may be normal and inadequate for diagnosis and treatment of the condition. This article discusses how to identify a potentially high risk patient, available laboratory tests, management options, and the role of nurses in identifying high risk patients. The second author tells his personal story of surviving multiple cardiac arrests at a young age before being diagnosed with this condition.
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