Cholesterol Test – Things You Need Know

Cholesterol test is a blood test. In case you have test anxiety, it’s not like a test at school, you don’t need to prepare anything. Just give a little blood, and the lab staff will show you the cholesterol and triglycerides level.

How is the blood test done?

12 hours before the test, you can’t have any food, drinks or medications. This is called Fast or Fasting by the doctors. But after the test, everything becomes as usual.

The nurse will take a small blood sample from your arm. The needling may cause a minor but ignorable discomfort.

The lab staff will processed the blood sample. The processing is done mainly by machines. Then you’ll get a report showing your cholesterol numbers.

Why should I take a cholesterol blood test?

High cholesterol affects a significant portion of people in the United States. High cholesterol may cause heart problem or stroke, people with high cholesterol should take proper medication. However, high cholesterol doesn’t cause any discomfort before it develops to heart disease or stroke. Because of that, people with high cholesterol may not know about it at all. That’s why cholesterol screening matters.

How often should I check cholesterol?

As per the American Heart Association, all adults aged 2+ have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. People with normal numbers repeat the check in four to six years, and people with higher than normal numbers should get treatment after consulting their healthcare provider.

What is normal result for cholesterol test?

A blood test of cholesterol levels is called lipoprotein profile, it contains:

  1. Total cholesterol
  2. HDL cholesterol
  3. LDL cholesterol
  4. Triglycerides

Total cholesterol

Total cholesterol (TC) normal range is 110~220mg/dl, the higher the riskier.

HDL cholesterol

HDL cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is the good cholesterol. The higher HDL cholesterol is, the less risk level you’re at concerning a heart disease.

The ideal range of HDL cholesterol is >1.04mmol/L or >40mg/dL, If the HDL cholesterol level is lower than 0.91mmol/L or 35mg/dL, it’s considered below normal range.

LDL cholesterol

LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is the bad cholesterol. LDL cholesterol accumulates and builds up on your artery walls, makes the arteries narrower for the blood to go through. This is the major cause of Myocardial ischemia and blood clot. Higher LDL cholesterol level generally means higher risk of heart attack. Medication is necessary for such cases.

LDL cholesterol normal level is < 190 mg/dl.

Statin is the mainstream medicine for high LDL cholesterol level treatment.


Triglycerides are the fats carried in the blood. They are from the food that we eat. A high triglyceride level is connected to a higher risk of coronary artery disease.

Normal level     <150

Mildly high        150-199

High                 200-499

Very high          >=500


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