It is an established fact that raised LDL (‘bad”) cholesterol levels in blood increase the chance of heart disease significantly. Researchers have suggested that determining the blood levels of another form of LDL (low density lipoproteins) cholesterol; called oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) can help to assess the severity of heart disease and also predict the risk of heart attack.
Oxidized LDL is a form of LDL that has combined with oxygen and it is more dangerous compared to LDL as it promotes clogging (blocking) of blood vessels.
A study was recently done on 135 heart attack and angina patients. There were 45 patients of heart attack, 45 patients with stable angina (chest pain on exertion) and 45 with unstable angina (chest pain even at rest) and a healthy group. In all the groups the oxidized LDL levels were measured. It was found that patients with heart attack had higher levels of oxidized LDL as compared to angina patients. Also the oxidized LDL level in heart attack patients was 4 times more as compared to that found in the healthy individuals.
Researchers suggest that this test can act as a good predictor for heart attack in high-risk individuals, but still more studies have to be conducted before it can be applied in practice.