RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – How much would you be willing to invest in information that could save your life? A Richmond research facility makes the claim that for less than $100, it can run a simple test that can spell out your risk for heart disease.
It's easy to see that Lisa Handy has a lot to live for. The 38-year-old mother and wife appears to be the picture of health. But appearances can be deceiving.
"85% of the disease is not diagnosed now, when you can do something about it," said Tonya Mallory, President/CEO of HDL Inc.
According to Health Diagnostic Laboratories- "now"- for most people is right where Lisa is. The problem, according HDL Doctor Joseph McConnell is that most traditional doctors don't test enough to determine if people like Lisa, are prone to bigger problems down the road.
"Traditional lipid testing, cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and HDL testing are not a good way of assessing risk for individuals," said HDL Doctor Joseph McConnell.
That's right. Your cholesterol might not be telling you the whole story. In fact McConnell says that 50 percent of people rushed to the ER with heart issues, pass those tests without a problem.
And that is the reason that Lisa, who feels fine, is subjecting herself to being poked and prodded by the HDL staff. She offered up a few vials of blood to the company's techs who then went to work. One week later she is back, ready to learn what her future could potentially hold.
"I think most physicians would look at this and say, you know I think these could be improved a bit," McConnell said.
The traditional tests show some areas of concern, but nothing dramatic.
McConnell: "You ready to look?"
Elizabeth: "I'm ready"
Then a look at the more extensive results. You don't need a PHD to understand that green means ok and red means trouble. There was no red in Lisa's traditional test results and all kinds of red in the more extensive report. It revealed genetic markers in her system that need attention beyond diet and exercise.
"The extent of the difference that we saw in Lisa was what was surprising to me," said McConnell.
For Lisa- the report did not shock her. In fact it actually answered some questions.
"I don't know that I was terribly surprised as my dad just had a major heart attack and doesn't look like he would've had a heart attack," said Lisa.
Lisa's father's scare was part of what compelled her to learn more. While it may seem like bad news, HDL's founder believes it will allow her to make changes now- to prevent her from being surprised by a sneak heart attack like her father.
"So that's the whole point to get to that and to get to a point where they can treat it, reverse it and before the events," Mallory said.
Something Lisa Handy has always wanted to do and now may have the information she needs to make it happen.
So here is the question? Does it work? Of course HDL says yes, but it may be too early to tell. While most of the doctors employing their research model are reporting success, the model has not been around for very long. It may take some time to fully assess just how much this test can tell about your future.