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Blood Test: Lipid Panel

What is a Lipid Panel?

A blood test is used to check cholesterol levels. Doctors refer to this blood test as a “lipid panel” or “lipoprotein profile.” It measures the levels of total cholesterol found in your blood. Your lipid panel results generally will report the following numbers:

  • Your total cholesterol level
  • Your HDL cholesterol level
  • Your LDL cholesterol level
  • Your triglyceride levels

Your physician should advise you that to attain the most accurate measurements, you cannot eat or drink anything besides water for 12 hours before your blood is drawn. A small sample of bood is then drawn from your finger or arm. If you don’t fast, you have still have your total cholesterol and HDL levels measured. The levels are measured as milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood, or mg/dL.

Adults over the age of 20 are recommended to start having your blood cholesterol levels checked. In fact, all adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years. If your cholesterol numbers are evavated, you should have it tested more often. Talk with your doctor to find out how often is best for you.

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