Preventative Care

Premier Physician Network providers answer frequently asked questions about preventative care.

What are biomarkers, and which ones help measure a person’s risk for heart disease?

Dr. Mark Williams discusses biomarkers and which ones help measure your risk for heart disease. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What are biomarkers, and which ones help measure a person’s risk for heart disease?

Biomarkers are our ability to measure a normal physiologic process. So, they can be anything from blood pressure, is a biomarker, pulse rate is a biomarker, LDL cholesterol is a bio marker, and there are other biomarkers that we can measure that we're not quite sure whether to associate it with disease processes or not, like some people have heard of something called C-reactive protein, which is a blood marker that we can monitor.

 

A biomarker is a measurable substance in the body, for example an enzyme concentration or a specific hormone concentration, which can indicate certain diseases, infections or other goings on within the body, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The American Heart Association states that biomarkers can be measured by:

  • Blood urine or tissue samples
  • Recordings from a person, including blood pressure, ECG or Holter
  • Imaging tests, including echocardiogram or CT scan

Though there are 60 biomarkers currently being studied to find ways to predict the risk of heart disease, two stand out as clinically important right now, according to the NIH.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is the measure of inflammation within the body. The higher the level of CRP, the higher your risk for developing heart disease in the future, according to the NIH.

The other biomarker that stands out now is BNatriuretic peptide (BNP). This biomarker indicates there is swelling or edema going on inside the body for some reason, and the number can be used to determine whether the symptoms were caused by heart disease, according to the NIH.

For more information about biomarkers and how they can indicate heart disease, talk with your physician.

Learn more:

Source: Suzanne Bell, MD, Vandalia Family Care; Tracie Bolden, MD, Fairfield Road Physician Offices; Nicholas Davis, MD, Centerville Family Medicine; Timothy Markus, MD, Dayton Heart Center; Allison Mendenhall, PA-C, Troy Primary Care Physicians; Katrina Paulding, MD, Samaritan North Family Physicians; Breanna Veal, PA-C, Walden Ponds Primary Care: James Halderman, MD, Jamestown Family Medicine; Ziad Khatib, MD, Fairfield Road Physicians; Christopher Lauricella, DO, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Marcus Washington, MD, Premier Health Family Medicine; Ann DeClue, MD, Ann DeClue, MD; Angelia Mickle, DNP, Jamestown Family Medicine; Leelmohan Ravikumar, MD, Troy Primary Care Physicians; Aaron Block, MD, MPH, Franklin Family Practice; Mansi Amin, DO, Oakwood Primary Care, Tammy Taylor, DO, The Pediatric Group; Nicholas Davis, MD, Jamestown Family Medicine; Mark Williams, MD, Jamestown Family Medicine