Is an nmr lipid panel a valuable tool to better assess heart disease risk compared to a basic lipid panel?
Yes - Based on Data. LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) is the traditional measure of LDL quantity. NMR measures LDL particle number (LDL-P). When LDL-C and LDL-P differ CHD risk tracks with LDL-P not LDL-C. Expert groups advocate use of LDL-P to judge response to therapy and guide adjustment of therapy. New data shows adjusting therapy to achieve low LDL-P results in fewer CVD events versus statin treatment to low LDL-C levels.
No. There are 2 reasons to get an NMR lipid profile: to participate in a research study and to make money for the private labs who want you to buy their product. Here is a standard risk calculator: http://cvdrisk.Nhlbi.Nih.Gov/calculator.Asp. It's free. A calcium score is expensive ; helpful if it's zero but what are you going to do differently if it's elevated?