The homocysteine test is a simple test ordered by your physician to measure the level of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is a common type of amino acid that is used by the body to make new proteins. Unusually high levels of homocysteine in the blood are linked to the risk of heart diseases.
According to the US Cardiology (USC) review, elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood is responsible for at least 10% of mortality from cardiovascular diseases in the U.S. So, we highly recommend everyone to get tested for homocysteine levels if you experience any of the symptoms that are caused by high or low homocysteine levels.
The article below covers all the important topics that are related to the homocysteine test like the homocysteine test cost, normal homocysteine levels, procedure, preparation, risks, and how to get tested for a homocysteine blood test.
- Homocysteine test cost.
- What is homocysteine?
- Why is a homocysteine test done?
- Normal homocysteine levels.
- How is the homocysteine test done?
- Is there any preparation required before the test?
- Are there any risks in the test?
- What does the test result mean?
- How to treat high homocysteine levels?
- Provider Locations.
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the homocysteine test cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
How much does the homocysteine test cost?
Homocysteine test cost ranges between $68 and $79 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days. Doctor consultation is also available for further treatment or any kind of medical advice.
The following table shows the Homocysteine test cost at 3 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
Homocysteine test cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. rarely covers the cost of the homocysteine test. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan with the insurance company before getting tested for homocysteine levels.
Our homocysteine testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But, on request, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code that is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is homocysteine?
Homocysteine is a common type of amino acid present in the bloodstream. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and play many important roles in the body. Generally, homocysteine is present in a very small amount in all the cells of the body. This is because vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid convert homocysteine into other products very quickly.
Why is a homocysteine test done?
The homocysteine test is done to measure the levels of homocysteine in the blood. This test helps to diagnose vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid deficiencies as they are responsible for the metabolism of homocysteine. The homocysteine blood test also helps to screen for heart disease and stroke because higher levels of homocysteine can lead to arterial damage and a blood clot in the blood vessels resulting in cardiovascular diseases.
Your physician will order a homocysteine test if you experience the following symptoms that are caused by vitamin deficiencies or if you are at risk of getting heart disease.
Symptoms of vitamin B12, B6, and folate deficiency
- Pale skin
- Sore mouth and tongue
- Loss of appetite
- Tingling in the arms or legs
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle weakness
- Personality changes
The homocysteine blood test is also ordered to monitor the effectiveness of ongoing treatment for heart disease or stroke.
Normal homocysteine levels
Generally, the homocysteine levels are present in very small quantities in the blood. The normal homocysteine levels vary based on age and gender. However, the standard range of homocysteine is less than 15 mcmol/l (micromoles per liter). The higher levels of homocysteine are divided into the following three categories based on the severity.
- Moderate – 15 to 30 mcmol/l
- Intermediate – 30 to 100 mcmol/l
- Severe – >100 mcmol/l
How is the homocysteine test done?
The homocysteine test is a simple blood test that can be done using a sample of blood. During this test, a lab technician or a phlebotomist will cleanse the area to be injected with an antiseptic and wrap an elastic band around the upper arm to make the vein visible and pool with blood. He/she then injects a needle to draw a sample of blood and collects the sample in a test tube. After the blood is drawn, he/she will ask you to apply pressure on the injected area with a band-aid or a cotton ball to stop bleeding. The collected blood sample is then sent to the lab for further testing.
It takes less than 5 to 10 minutes to perform this test.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
For a homocysteine blood test, your physician will ask you to fast for at least 10 to 12 hours before the test. Also, he/she may ask you to stop certain medications or supplements before the test as they can influence the homocysteine levels and result in an inaccurate diagnosis.
Are there any risks in the test?
There are no possible risks or complications in the homocysteine blood test. But sometimes after the blood sample is drawn, you might feel dizziness, slight pain, bruise, or redness in the injected area for a very little period. If you have any abnormal bleeding in the injected area, inform your physician immediately.
What does the test result mean?
If the homocysteine levels are higher than normal range, it indicates the possibility of the following complications.
- Vitamin B12, B6 or folic acid deficiency
- Osteoporosis (weakened bones)
- Homocystinuria (a disorder of methionine metabolism leading to an abnormal accumulation of homocysteine in the blood or urine)
- Atherosclerosis (build-up of fats and cholesterol in the walls of the artery)
- Venous thrombosis (blood clot in the veins)
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
We recommend you to consult your concerned physician regarding your homocysteine test results.
How to treat elevated homocysteine levels?
If your physician asses that the cause of higher homocysteine level is a vitamin deficiency, then he/she will prescribe you a healthy balanced diet plan or daily vitamin supplements to get enough vitamins and nutrients.
The homocysteine test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the homocysteine test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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