Jeff Meeusen, Ph.D., a clinical chemist and Co-Director of Cardiovascular Laboratory Medicine at Mayo Clinic, discussed Mayo Clinic's new blood test that helps combat the leading cause of death in the U.S. with KTTC. The test measures blood concentrations of plasma ceramides, a class of lipids that are highly linked to cardiovascular disease processes. When used together with the cholesterol test, this test can help determine a patient's risk of developing heart disease more accurately.
"As many as one in five people—the very first sign they ever have of any heart disease is a heart attack," said Dr. Meeusen. "If we can identify people at risk sooner, and get them to adjust maybe their diet and lifestyle, maybe start taking some medicine that will help, we can prevent that heart disease before it even starts."