Cardiac and diabetes risk assessment test Hertta
The cardiac and diabetes risk test Hertta, available in Mehiläinen’s laboratories, can predict your risk of heart attack or diabetes in the next few (1–10) years. The test is based on a single blood sample. Timely information can be used to reduce the risk through changes in lifestyle or medication, close monitoring and other measures. The sooner a risk is identified, the better it can be affected.
The test developed in Finland also provides a reliable prognosis for those who have no known risk of coronary artery disease. Studies show that the risk test measures the risk of heart attack and related death more accurately than any of the current laboratory tests for cholesterol or lipids or other tests commonly used in risk assessments.
The Hertta cardiac risk test is a Coronary Event Risk Test (CERT) based on ceramides.
To whom is the risk assessment test recommended?
Hertta is suitable for anyone with a family history of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or predisposing risk factors. There are an estimated 660,000 people at risk of coronary artery disease in Finland. The risk does not necessarily appear as elevated cholesterol or other known risk factors, but can only be detected with the risk test. There are about 300,000 patients with type 2 diabetes in Finland. In addition, about 150,000 Finns have diabetes without knowing it. Changes in lifestyles such as stopping smoking, being physically active, managing diet and stress reduce the risk.
The test is also suitable for patients with coronary artery disease, for whom the risk of recurrence can be assessed. There are an estimated 180,000 coronary artery disease patients in Finland. The results of the study can be used to make changes to medication and increase monitoring and reduce the high risk of heart attacks and death. Other risk reduction measures may also be considered.
Hertta is also suitable for people who are interested and want to take care of their heart and control their risk of diabetes.
How to determine the risk of heart attacks and diabetes?
- Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death, accounting for 30% of all deaths. The earlier the risk is identified, the better the possibility of managing the risk.
- Every ten minutes in Finland, someone has a seizure due to coronary artery disease, and about 30 people die of coronary artery disease every day.
- Almost half of heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels and up to 20% of cases involve people without any known risk factor.
- According to the latest research data, cholesterol testing alone is not sufficient to determine the risk. The risk may not appear as elevated cholesterol or other known risk factors, but may be determined with the Hertta test.
Price of Hertta cardiac risk test
The price of the Hertta heart risk test is EUR 135.
The price includes
- collection of the blood sample at your preferred Mehiläinen location
- results available and stored in OmaMehiläinen
- the opportunity to discuss lifestyle changes or further studies with Mehiläinen’s heart hotline experts. If you have received a referral to the risk test from your attending doctor, you can agree on reviewing the results and determining the need for further studies with them.
The study does not currently include Kela reimbursement.
How to access the Hertta cardiac risk test?
The Hertta risk test is easy to perform in Mehiläinen’s laboratories. The Hertta risk test may be recommended by your occupational health physician or any other doctor treating you. You can also come to the risk test on your own without a doctor's referral. You can book an appointment at any Mehiläinen location via the online booking service. The test will be carried out by analysing a blood sample taken in our laboratory. You do not have to remain without food or liquids prior to the sampling, and the test does not need to be performed at a certain time of the day.
Here’s what to do:
1. You can come to the laboratory of any Mehiläinen clinic during the opening hours without an appointment or special preparation. If you want to, you can also book a sampling appointment online at https://ajanvaraus.mehilainen.fi or by calling 010 414 00 (local network rate/mobile charge) (Mon–Sun 6 a.m.–10 p.m.).
2. The test will be carried out by analysing a blood sample taken in our laboratory.
3. You will receive the results in OmaMehiläinen, where they will remain available to you. The free OmaMehiläinen mobile app can be downloaded to your iPad or phone (iOS or Android) or you can use it from your computer at oma.mehilainen.fi.
4. You can discuss the result and further actions with your doctor by calling the laboratory or in the OmaMehiläinen mobile application by opening the Digital Clinic chat with a general practitioner (price EUR 39.90). You can also book an appointment with a doctor online at ajanvaraus.mehilainen.fi or by calling Mehiläinen's customer service on 010 414 00 (local network rate/mobile charge) (open 24/7).
What do the risk numbers indicate?
The heart risk number indicates the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiac death:
- 0–2: low risk
- 3–6: medium risk
- 7–9: increased risk
- 10–12: high risk, i.e. the risk of a person having a heart attack is significant and they are recommended to contact a doctor about the result.
Components of the Hertta test can also be used to determine the risk of developing diabetes. An algorithm that combines the ratio of certain lipids included in the Hertta test to a person's age, gender and body mass index to assess the risk of developing diabetes was developed in a recently published study. Based on the risk number obtained from the test, the person is placed in one of the three risk categories:
- 0–5: low risk
- 5–15: medium risk
- 15+: high risk, discussing further measures with a doctor is recommended. The doctor will always assess the situation and measures on a case-by-case basis.
Hertta provides a statistical risk assessment. Low test scores do not mean that you will not have a heart attack in the future with 100% accuracy.
Any changes in treatment should always be discussed with your doctor. Do not stop your medication even if the Hertta test score is low. The low level of risk may, for example, be caused by the treatment you receive.
How can I view the results?
The results are stored in OmaMehiläinen, where you can browse them whenever you like. You can access the OmaMehiläinen service on your phone (iPhone or Android) or computer by downloading the OmaMehiläinen application from the App Store or Google Play or visiting https://oma.mehilainen.fi/. If you want to hear the results by phone, you can call our laboratory.
Statements from Digital Clinic or your own doctor
Please note that the package does not include a separate statement on the results of the laboratory test package. By discussing the results of laboratory tests with your doctor to identify health risks, you can get a professional interpretation of the results as well as instructions for promoting your own health. You can consult your personal doctor or a Digital Clinic general practitioner about the test results. The Digital Clinic fee is EUR 29 with Kela reimbursement. If you have been issued a doctor’s referral to the tests, you should contact your doctor to obtain further instructions and find out how the results are provided.
Is the cardiac risk test enough?
The cardiac risk test is a new way of investigating the risk of having a heart attack in advance, reducing the risk through lifestyle changes and influencing the risk of seizures with changes in medication.
Depending on the situation, however, more extensive cardiac examinations are recommended, for example, to investigate possible coronary artery stenoses. In addition to the Hertta cardiac risk test, important laboratory tests include high-sensitivity C-reactive protein test (S-hCRP) and apolipoprotein tests (S-APot), which can be performed from a single blood sample. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein test indicates the inflammatory state of the body, which is a risk factor for vascular diseases. Apolipoproteins are parts of blood lipids that indicate the level of risk more accurately than cholesterol.
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