The levels of cholesterol in your blood play an important role in determining your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. For example:
High LDL levels increase the risk of CVD.
Low HDL levels increase the risk of CVD.
High triglyceride levels increase the risk of CVD.
What to Expect
Prior to Test
Steps to take before the test depend on the test you are having. For example:
Lipoprotein profile—You will need to not eat or drink for 9-12 hours before the test. Water is allowed during this time.
Total cholesterol test and total cholesterol test with HDL measurement—You do not need to fast.
Description of Test
You will roll up your sleeve. An elastic band will be wrapped around your upper arm. An area on your arm will be cleaned with alcohol. The needle will then be inserted into your arm vein. A small amount of blood will be drawn into a tube. The needle will be removed. Pressure will be applied to the puncture site. A small bandage may be placed on the site. Your blood will be sent to a lab for testing.
You will be able to leave after the test is done. When you arrive home:
Go back to your regular diet.
If told to do so by your doctor, take your medicines as usual.
If you have an area of bruising, apply pressure to the area. Use a piece of cotton under the bandage.
How Long Will It Take?
A few minutes
Will It Hurt?
It may hurt slightly when the needle is inserted.
Depending on your results, your doctor may choose to have more testing done.
Call Your Doctor
After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Akosah KO, Schaper A, Cogbill C, Schoenfeld P. Preventing myocardial infarction in the young adult in the first place: how do the National Cholesterol Education Panel III guidelines perform?
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003;41:1475-1479.
Illustrated Guide to Diagnostic Tests.
Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corporation; 2001.
Law MR, Wald NJ. Risk factor thresholds: their existence under scrutiny.
Br Med J. 2002;324:1570-1576.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a