Advanced Lipid Testing
You've heard about good and bad cholesterol. The LDL, or bad cholesterol, does not exist by itself, but has a protein and other things, forming particles that dump into artery walls and cause blockages when there is too much of it. The LDL number doesn't always tell the whole story, though.
The photo represents two patients that have the same LDL, or bad cholesterol, number. You can see that both bags are the same size. But the patient on the right has twice as many particles as the one on the left, so they are at higher risk of having a heart attack, even though their LDL number is the same.
An advanced cholesterol test, that measures the particle number, or ApoB, can reveal hidden risk that a standard cholesterol test does not show. In many cases the LDL is in a good range, but the particle number indicates one is actually at high risk. This may be one reason that some people have heart attacks despite having apparently good cholesterol results.