Although routine lipid screening plays an important role in determining your risk for cardiovascular disease, it does not provide information on the dangerous inflammation present in the walls of your arteries. Nearly 50% of all heart attacks occur in people with "normal" cholesterol levels because vascular inflammation, not cholesterol.
Let's briefly examine how Myeloperoxidase (MPO) works…
When your artery wall is damaged or inflamed, MPO is released by invading white blood cells called macrophages. MPO then oxidizes LDL (your bad cholesterol), making it atherogenic, which then oxidizes HDL (your good cholesterol) rendering it dysfunctional. This cascade of events results in inflammation linked to plaque formation in your artery wall.1Myeloperoxidase also activates enzymes that are linked to plaque vulnerability and rupture. This combination of detrimental effects shows that MPO is actively involved in both the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall!
Still not concerned that you are at risk for a heart attack? Let's look at the facts about MPO levels and cardiovascular risk:
- Individuals with elevated MPO levels are more than twice as likely to experience cardiovascular mortality.1
- Elevated MPO levels predict the risk of heart disease in subgroups otherwise associated with low risk.2,3
- MPO levels are not likely to be elevated due to chronic infections or rheumatologic disorders due to the fact that MPO in the blood is a specific marker of vascular inflammation and vulnerable plaque.
Simply put…Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a vascular specific marker that measures your body's response to damage in your artery walls and the subsequent formation of vulnerable plaque which is prone to rupture!
Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.
- Heslop CL et al. Myeloperoxidase and C-reactive protein have combined utility for long-term prediction of cardiovascular mortality after coronary angiography. J AM Coli Cardiol. 2010; 55: 1102-1109
- Meuwese MC et al. Serum myeloperoxidase levels are associated with the future risk of coronary artery disease in apparently healthy individuals: The EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study. J Am Coli Cardiol. 2007; 50: 159-165
- Karakas M eta al. Myeloperoxidase is associated with incident coronary heart disease independently of tradional risk factors: Results from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg study. J Intern Med. 2012; 271: 43-50