RALEIGH…Updated recommendations suggesting people with high risk of heart disease should have much lower cholesterol underscores the need for its NMR LipoProfile test, says LipoScience Inc.

The company says its test is the optimal tool to help doctors craft individualized treatment regimens for patients at moderately-high to high risk for developing heart disease.

“The published update to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III Guidelines will certainly change the threshold criteria many physicians apply in determining which patients need to be treated, says Dr. William Cromwell, adjunct professor in the Hypertension and Vacular Disease Center at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and chief medical officer of LipoScience.

“The challenge will be to decide what specific medication or combination of medications should be used for each specific medication or combination of medications should be used for each patient whent the precise level of risk cannot be adequately assessed using low density lipoprotein cholesterol tests.”

The real villains in heart disease, he says, “are the low-density lipoprotein particles.” They’re the tiny, spherical “containers” that transport cholesterol around the body. Cromwell points out that measuring the particles, which is what the LipoScience test does, gives a much better indication of the risk of heart disease than measuring cholesterol levels alone.

Studies show that two people with identical cholesterol levels may have different levels of the particles. “Unfortunately for those with an increased number of particles continue to be at higher risk,” Cromwell says.