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What is a Cholesterol Test?
A Cholesterol test checks a patient's blood to determine if their cholesterol and triglycerides are at an acceptable level for proper health, which gives physicians an indication on whether or not a patient is at risk for a heart attack or stroke. There are a variety of cholesterol tests available, offering a wide range of results for both doctors and patients. The most common is a lipid profile, which is often given to patients during their yearly checkup, or in some cases, every five years.
Who May Need a Cholesterol Test?Cholesterol tests are an important early indicator of health issues which could result in a heart attack or stroke, making it imperative that patients begin having their cholesterol checked fairly regularly once they reach adulthood. Patients with known hereditary issues relating to high cholesterol, heart attacks, or strokes may want to take this test on an annual or semi-annual basis. Males over 40 years of age, as well as women over 50, should take this test annually at minimum in order to stay acquainted with their cholesterol levels, which can not only lead to coronary heart disease, but may affect their general wellness.
What Should I Expect from My Cholesterol Test?Cholesterol tests begin with a blood sample being drawn from a patient in order for it to be analyzed by a medical laboratory. Cholesterol tests require patients to refrain from eating anywhere from 12-14 hours prior to the test being performed. There are common reference ranges that exist among cholesterol tests, though some labs may have different ranges for you and your physician. Speak to your doctor regarding your results to get more information on how they concern you and your health specifically.
What does a cholesterol panel test for?
A blood cholesterol panel is used to evaluate a person's risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia) are an important risk factor for:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
At what age should cholesterol testing begin?
Most doctors recommend that cholesterol testing should begin in childhood and adolescence. It's best to begin early, especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, where preventive and regular testing is recommended.
How accurate is cholesterol testing?
Cholesterol blood tests are accurate and reliable methods for assessing your lipid profile. There are many different cholesterol tests, but all values can be used to calculate the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
How long should you fast for cholesterol testing?
You should fast for 12 hours minimum before your blood cholesterol panel.
What is NMR in cholesterol testing?
NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) is a non-invasive common technique used to determine bloodstream cholesterol concentration in less than five minutes.
Do I need to visit a doctor?
Nope. You don't need a doctor's visit to get a test with us.
How do I get my results?
You'll get your results via email as soon as they are available. We will notify you via SMS as well. You can also see them at any time in the future right in your dashboard where you can easily share them with your professional and compare them side by side with future tests.
Does my lab prescription expire?
We're the only lab that honors your lab order forever.