What is a Homocysteine Test?
A Homocysteine Test is a blood test that will confirm the level of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood may be associated increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
What is included in a Homocysteine Test?
A Homocysteine Test is a blood test will confirm the level of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood may be associated increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
Why should I get tested?
Homocysteine testing is useful in checking the overall risk of heart disease. Screening for elevated homocysteine levels is recommended in patients with a strong personal or family history of heart disease, and it is also recommended for patients with unexplained blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, or other symptoms related to heart disease, especially if they do not have typical risk factors, such as smoking cigarettes, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high LDL cholesterol levels.
How should I prepare for the test?
You should avoid food and liquids (with the exception of water) for 8-12 hours prior to getting a Homocysteine test.
What could my screening results mean?
High levels of homocysteine may be caused by not getting enough folic acid, vitamin B6, or B12 as well as using too much alcohol. Age and sex also can also be factors. Men tend to have higher homocysteine levels than women, and levels increase with age. Other disorders including kidney disease, hypothyroidism, Alzheimer’s Disease, and certain cancers can increase homocysteine levels as well.
Low levels of homocysteine may be caused by certain medications or vitamins including folic acid, vitamin B12, or niacin.
If your Homocysteine Test indicates abnormalities, you should consult your healthcare provider for further analysis.