Save On Labs > Heart/Cardiovascular Health

1 out of every 3 deaths is caused by coronary heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Take action against the risk for CVD—by addressing inflammation.
Measuring inflammatory biomarkers in addition to lipid levels can point to a range of treatments,
depending on the inflammation panel results.

There are many different Quest Cardio IQ tests that you can order on your behalf. You and your doctor can then use the results to better understand your heart health and come up with the best treatment plan for you.

Learn more about each type of Quest Cardio IQ test by choosing a link below.

Lipid Panel
LDL-C: Martin-Hopkins Calculation
Lipoprotein Subfractionation
NMR Lipoprofile: Advanvced Lipid Panel

Inflammation Biomarkers:
CRP Highly Sensitive C-Reactive Protein

Metabolic Markers:

Hemoglobin A1c
Omega-3 and -6 Fatty Acids, Plasma
Vitamin D25-OH

Lipid Panels

Lipids are directly linked to the risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Lipid panels measure the levels of HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood.

  • Lipid Panels

    This is the standard test used to determine cholesterol levels. In addition to HDL and LDL, it measures total cholesterol, as well as triglycerides (another type of lipid).

LDL-C: Martin-Hopkins Calculation

The Martin-Hopkins Calculation for LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) gives doctors more accurate information with which to manage heart health, and fasting is not required. Quest Diagnostics is the first U.S. diagnostic laboratory to measure all LDL-C with this new assessment method. Read more.

Lipoprotein Subfractionation

Lipoproteins carry fats and cholesterol. Lipoprotein Subfraction measures the levels and types of lipoproteins in the blood to uncover risks that are linked to heart disease.

  • Lipid Subfractionation by Ion Mobility

    This test separates, counts, and measures the particles that make up LDL-C and HDL-C. A high number of small and medium LDL particles indicates an increased risk of heart disease. A low number of large HDL particles indicates an increased risk of heart disease.

    These numbers can potentially be improved by lifestyle changes, in conjunction with certain medications such as statins, niacin, or fibrates.


Apolipoproteins bind lipids (or fats) together to carry them through the blood system. Some of the lipids carried by apolipoproteins include cholesterol and triglycerides, which makes this test helpful in determining heart disease risk.

  • ApoB

    This test measures the levels of ApoB, a type of apolipoprotein that clogs arteries. High levels of ApoB are linked to a greater risk of heart disease.

    The level can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, exercising more, losing weight, and taking certain medications.

  • Lp(a)

    This test determines your blood levels of Lp(a), a combination of apolipoproteins and a lipoprotein. High levels are linked to heart disease and stroke.

    These levels may be influenced by genetics. Diet and exercise don’t seem to help lower them, but certain medications do.

Inflammatory markers in cardiovascular health: a quick overview

40 years ago Drs. Ross and Glomset published their groundbreaking “response-to-injury” hypothesis, bringing to light the role of inflammation in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Their work revealed that atherosclerosis is initiated through injury and propagated through inflammation. Several studies have since supported the hypothesis that inflammation is a driver of atherosclerosis.

  • Despite these findings, the medical community has generally continued to rely on lipid testing to monitor elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
  • Yet, roughly 50% of heart attacks and strokes occur in patients with “normal” cholesterol levels.
  • Injury, or the infiltration of LDL particles into the arterial wall, is only part of the CVD story—and as the statistic to the right indicates, assessing only lipids may fail to fully identify a patient’s risk for adverse cardiac events.
When the inner lining of your arteries become damaged by diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and lifestyle habits, the cholesterol in your blood enters the artery walls more easily. This causes injury to the artery walls and they become inflamed. Inflammation biomarkers examine the severity of atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease in which cholesterol, fats, and other substances in your arteries build up over time to form plaque.

  • Microalbumin

    This test detects the levels of the very small (micro) elevations of albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein normally found in your blood, but not normally found in urine. If microalbumin is present in your urine, it may signify that your kidneys and arteries are damaged.

    Your doctor may want to check your microalbumin level if you have risk factors for heart attack, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol levels.

    Changes to your diet and exercise can help lower your microalbumin levels. If you smoke, your doctor can help with programs or products to help you quit.

  • hsCRP (C-Reactive Protein)

    C-reactive protein (CRP) is made by the liver when inflammation is present somewhere in your body. A regular CRP test is often used to help your doctor find out if you have an infection. A “high sensitivity,” or “hs,” version of the CRP blood test measures extremely low levels of CRP that usual tests can miss.

    Studies have shown that very low levels of inflammation in the blood vessels over a long period of time can be a warning sign of more advanced stage of heart disease. When this high-sensitivity test detects moderately elevated CRP, it reveals the inflammation associated with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.

    hsCRP can be elevated when you have an infection, so be sure any known infection is treated and cured. If you smoke, stop. Certain medications and heart-healthy foods have anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

  • Fibrinogen

    A Fibrinogren test looks at the levels of this protein in your blood. Fibrinogen is a part of the blood’s clotting process that can be elevated due to inflammation. Continually high levels of fibrinogen are linked to increased risk of heart disease.

    Fibrinogen levels can be lowered by stopping smoking and losing excessive body fat.

Metabolic Markers

Metabolic Markers are used to evaluate how all the processes in your body are working together to create the energy your body needs to perform properly. These markers directly impact your heart’s health.

  • Hemoglobin A1c

    The hemoglobin A1c test is used to help figure out who may have diabetes either now or in the future by measuring blood sugar levels over the past 90 days. High levels may indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes.

  • Glucose

    Glucose testing measures sugar levels in the blood. High glucose levels may mean you are not responding to the insulin your pancreas is making, so sugar is not getting to the cells where it is needed. Diabetes is the most common disease that causes irregular glucose levels.

  • Insulin

    Insulin is a hormone that is vital for regulating blood sugar. This test measures the effects of insulin in your system. Constant high levels of insulin increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.

    High insulin levels can be improved with proper nutrition, exercise, stress management, or certain medications.

  • Omega-3 and -6 Fatty Acids, Plasma

    This test assesses the levels of these fatty acids in the blood. A lower omega-3 index is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including sudden cardiac death.

    Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids or taking omega-3 supplements can increase omega-3 fatty acid levels.

  • Vitamin D

    This blood test is the most accurate way to measure Vitamin D levels. Low levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure.

    Vitamin D levels may be low for many reasons, such as not enough sun exposure, not eating a balanced diet, and obesity. Taking vitamin D supplements is one way to increase vitamin D levels.