Concerned About Your Friends or Family's Diabetes Risk? Tell Them About the VAP Test

May 30, 2008

If you have diabetes, chances are you are already taking cholesterol-lowering drugs or realize that they might soon join the list of your other medications.

You’re also likely to be especially concerned about the possibility that members of your family or some of your friends are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s why you might want to recommend that they take a VAP (vertical auto profile) test, an easy-to-obtain, do-it-yourself test that gives a remarkably accurate assessment of the risks a person is running for heart disease or diabetes.

The test, introduced in 2003, measures 15 separate components of blood cholesterol, compared to three in a standard cholesterol test. It has also been shown to identify more than twice the number of patients with lipid abnormalities than the standard lipid panel in a conventional cholesterol and triglyceride test.

Because of its level of detail, the test often helps doctors uncover hidden threats to patients, such as low HDL2, high triglycerides, and small, dense LDL–all factors in metabolic syndrome, the precursor to adult-onset diabetes

The test also gives doctors and clinicians the level of detailed information they need to better assess, manage and lower heart disease risk in type 2s. Here’s a sample test result.

You can order the VAP through your doctor's office, at most clinics or directly through HealthCheck USA. Medicare and most private insurers cover its cost. Click here for more information.

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Other Lab Tests, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by eshahady on 7 June 2008

I request that this page be removed.This test is not needed in the vast majority of diabetics. This test is expensive and adds little in the majority of patients. It only serves to increase the cost of health care. The standard cholesterol test adequately identifies risk. A recent consensus statement of the ADA and ACC published in the April 2008 issue of Diabetes Care states that advanced lipid testing (VAP)is not required for routine risk evaluation. The standard cholesterol profile will idenitfy risk. We need to have more pay more attention to the numbers obtained from the cholesterol test and use Non-HDL cholesterol (a simple calculation) before using more expensive testing like VAP.
There are times when a VAP test will be of value but not to the degree suggested in the article.

Posted by telemed on 17 July 2008

As the chief medical officer of Atherotech, the developer of the VAP test, I appreciate the general value of our advanced lipid test has been articulated previously. I must take exception to the comments by Dr. Shahady however in his posting. Actually, the experts on the ADA/ACC consensus statement he cites suggest separate and specific target levels for Apo B, non-HDL and LDL for all diabetics and those with metabolic syndrome--- all of which are supplied by the VAP test. An individual with insulin resistance will typically have an unimpressive LDL on a standard cholesterol test often leading to a nonaggressive therapeutic recommendation from a clinician. In contrast, the VAP test will likely demonstrate a dramatically abnormal Apo B, HDL2, elevated remnant lipoproteins and the abnormal LDL phenotype revealing substantial "residual risk" necessitating combination lipid therapy. An LDL lower than 70 is often inadequate and has been shown to take care of only a minority of the risk. Not only will a standard lipid profile be misleadingly benign and incompletely characterize the situation of these patients with “cardiometabolic risk”, the estimated LDL it reports has been proven to be highly INACCURATE in anyone who needs LDL reduction below 100 (which arguably includes all diabetics). As far as cost-effectiveness, we already have evidence of tremendous cost-saving in diabetics (WellMed data) using the VAP test. Physicians who employ the sophisticated advanced VAP test will use combination lipid therapy when appropriate based on the comprehensive and complete profile we provide and thus can achieve substantially better event reduction for their patients.

James Ehrlich, MD

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