What Other Tests Might I Have Along With This Test
If your provider suspects you have heart disease, you may also get these tests:
Electrocardiogram . This tests your heart’s electrical impulses to see if your heart is beating normally.
Stress test. This test is done while you have an ECG. You may have to walk or run on a treadmill.
Echocardiogram. This is a picture of your heart made from sound waves.
Cardiac catheterization. A tube is put into your blood vessel and dye is injected. Clogs will then show up on an X-ray.
People with a history of artery disease, stroke, kidney disease, or diabetes are also at higher risk for heart disease, so tests may be done to look for these problems, too.
How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test
When and how often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger::
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older::
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
Why Is Cholesterol Important To Our Bodies
Every cell in the body needs cholesterol, which helps the cell membranes form the layers. These layers protect the contents of the cell by acting as the gatekeeper to what things can enter or leave the cell. It is made by the liver and is also used by the liver to make bile, which helps you digest foods. Cholesterol is also needed to make certain hormones and to produce vitamin D. Your liver makes enough cholesterol to meet your bodys needs for these important functions.
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What Do My Test Results Mean
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
Although no clear standards exist for non-HDL levels, most medical experts believe that lowering LDL and non-HDL cholesterol at the same time will cut your heart disease risk.
According to federal cholesterol program guidelines, your non-HDL cholesterol level goal should be 30 mg/dL higher than your LDL cholesterol level goal. For example, if you are aiming for an LDL cholesterol of 100 mg/dL, then your goal for non-HDL should be 130 mg/dL.
If you have diabetes, smoke, have a family history of heart disease, or have other risk factors, your cholesterol levels may need to be much lower. Talk with your healthcare provider about where your cholesterol levels should be.
Why Do I Need This Test
High cholesterol is one of the things that can tell you how likely you are to get heart disease, so it’s important to know your numbers. When your LDL cholesterol level is high and HDL cholesterol is low, you may be at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Here’s a breakdown of LDL cholesterol levels and health:
Less than 70 milligrams per deciliter this is your goal if you’re at very high risk for a heart attack
Less than 100 mg/dL the goal for people with heart disease or diabetes
100 to 129 mg/dL near or above the ideal level
130 to 159 mg/dL borderline high
160 to 189 mg/dL high
190 mg/dL and above very high
Here’s a breakdown of total cholesterol levels and health:
Less than 200 mg/dL you are at low risk for heart disease
200 to 240 mg/dL borderline high
240 mg/dL and above high
Ideally, HDL cholesterol should be above 40 mg/dL for men and above 50 mg/dL for women. The higher your HDL level, the better.
The test for non-HDL cholesterol isn’t usually part of screening for your total cholesterol. But if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or other risks for heart disease, your chances of having a heart attack are higher than normal. In these cases, your provider may calculate your non-HDL cholesterol, too.
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Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider About Your Cholesterol Levels
In truth, your healthcare provider will probably talk to you about your numbers first. As always, contact your provider if you have any new or worsening pain or other uncomfortable feelings. Make sure you know what medications you take and what they are expected to do. Call the provider if you have a reaction to the medicine.
Before you go to the office, and after you have had a cholesterol test, it helps to have a list of questions prepared about your test results and any proposed treatment.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
When considering cholesterol numbers, its important to remember that you really have the ability to make those numbers go in your favor. What you choose to eat, how much you are able to move and how you deal with lifes ups and downs are things that you can influence.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/31/2020.
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What Does Hdl Cholesterol Do
HDL clears from the body via the liver. HDL may therefore prevent the buildup of plaque, protect your arteries, and protect you from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. It is considered the good cholesterol, and higher levels are better. A good goal to aim for is higher than 55 mg/dL for women and 45 mg/dL for men. The higher your HDL cholesterol numbers, the lower your risk is for heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke.
Cholesterol Chart For Adults
Your doctor may recommend a plan of treatment for high cholesterol that includes lifestyle modifications and potentially medication. This will vary based on factors like other medications you may be taking, your age, sex, and general health.
Here are some medications more commonly prescribed for high cholesterol:
- Statins.Statins lower the LDL cholesterol levels by slowing the production of cholesterol by the liver.
- Bile acid sequestrants.Bile acid sequestrants are substances used in digestion. These resins can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by binding to bile acids and removing them, forcing the body to break down LDL cholesterol to create bile acids instead.
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors.Cholesterol absorption inhibitors can block the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, sometimes in conjunction with statins.
- Bempedoic acid.Bempedoic acid helps to stop an enzyme in the liver, ATP citrate lyase, from making cholesterol. This drug is often combined with statins for increased benefit for those with familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition that can cause early heart disease.
- PCSK9 inhibitors. Also used frequently with familial hypercholesterolemia, PCSK9 inhibitors, which are injected drugs, help the liver absorb and remove more LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Medications can also be used to treat contributing factors to cholesterol like triglycerides. These may be used in addition to some of the medications above.
About Your Cholesterol Result
A cholesterol test can measure:
- total cholesterol the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both good and bad cholesterol
- good cholesterol this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- bad cholesterol this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- triglycerides a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol
When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.
You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Ask your doctor or nurse.
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Add Coconut Oil To The Diet
Studies have shown that coconut oil may reduce appetite, increase metabolic rate, and help protect brain health, among other benefits.
Some people may be concerned about coconut oils effects on heart health due to its high saturated fat content. However, it appears that coconut oil is actually quite heart-healthy.
Some studies have shown that coconut oil tends to raise HDL cholesterol more than many other types of fat.
In addition, some studies have shown that coconut oil may improve the ratio of low-density lipoprotein , or bad, cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. Improving this ratio reduces heart disease risk .
One study examined the health effects of coconut oil consumption in 40 females with excess abdominal fat. The researchers found that those who took coconut oil daily had increased HDL cholesterol and a lower LDL-to-HDL ratio.
In contrast, the group who took soybean oil daily had a decrease in HDL cholesterol and an increase in the LDL-to-HDL ratio .
However, more recent reviews suggest that the research into coconut oil and cholesterol is of poor quality, is not conclusive, and often reports that coconut oil can raise the levels of LDL cholesterol. Therefore, more research is needed .
Most studies have found that these health benefits occur at a dosage of about 2 tbsp of coconut oil per day. It is best to incorporate this into cooking rather than eating spoonfuls of coconut oil on their own.
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What Are Cholesterol Levels
- LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad cholesterol because too much of it can build up in your arteries and form plaques, which increases the risk of heart disease .
- HDL cholesterol is often referred to as good cholesterol as it carries cholesterol to the liver to be broken down and excreted.
Since your total cholesterol is a combination of your LDL cholesterol and your HDL cholesterol, ideally you want to keep your LDL levels low and your HDL levels high. There are many factors that can influence your cholesterol, including, diet, exercise, weight, genetics, and other health conditions.
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What Is Non Hdl Cholesterol
NonHDL cholesterol, as its name implies, simply subtracts your high-density lipoprotein cholesterol number from your total cholesterol number. An optimal level of nonHDL cholesterol is less than 130 milligrams per deciliter , or 3.37 millimoles per liter .
Simply so, what does high non HDL cholesterol mean?
What does it mean if your nonHDL cholesterol is high? If your nonHDL cholesterol is high, you may be at a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries. It increases your risk of heart disease and: chest pain heart attack.
Similarly, is non HDL cholesterol the same as LDL? It includes both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. NonHDL this number is your total cholesterol minus your HDL. Your nonHDL includes LDL and other types of cholesterol such as VLDL .
Correspondingly, how do I lower my non HDL cholesterol?
A few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health:
What does non HDL mean in a blood test?
Your nonHDL cholesterol is your total cholesterol minus your HDL cholesterol. It is helpful to know your nonHDL cholesterol because your level of nonHDL may predict your risk of cardiovascular disease even better than your LDL cholesterol.
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What Affects My Cholesterol Levels
A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels:
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise. Saturated fat is the main problem, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level. Foods that have high levels of saturated fats include some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
- Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also raises your HDL cholesterol level.
- Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. HDL helps to remove bad cholesterol from your arteries. So a lower HDL can contribute to a higher level of bad cholesterol.
Things outside of your control that can also affect cholesterol levels include:
How To Prepare For The Test
Theres not too much that goes into preparing for a cholesterol test. Whenever you go in for medical visit, its a good idea to come early and bring a list of any medications or supplements youre taking. Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing so that you dont put pressure on the site of collection when leaving. In addition, you may be asked to steer clear of any food or drink for 912 hours before the test.
Find Out Your Heart Age With The Heart Age Tool
Once you have your cholesterol results you can work out your risk of developing heart disease over the next 10 years using the NHS Heart Age Tool. You will get a more accurate result if you know your blood pressure numbers too. The heart age tool is designed for people aged 25 to 84.
Adults age 40-74 are also invited for NHS Health Checks which includes other simple tests to look at your heart health.
Cholesterol Blood Test Results Explained Fasting Vs Nonfasting
A period of fasting is often required by a health care provider preceding a cholesterol blood test. Along with tests to look for diabetes that measure sugar, a lipid panel is one of few monitoring tests that require a period of not eating before the blood is taken. This is because a large meal or meals containing certain type of foods may interfere with or react with the results, which can indicate or refute the need for cholesterol medications or treatment plans based on inaccurate results.
However, there are some interesting things to point out when it comes to fasting and not fasting prior to a lipid panel. WebMD points out that the differences in results with regards cholesterol numbers have not been as widely skewed as anticipated when fasting and non fasting testers were compared in a recent study. In fact, in terms of LDL cholesterol, the variance in difference between those who ate and did not eat before the cholesterol blood test was nominal, and averaged at a less than 10% margin. LDL cholesterol is considered bad cholesterol and it is the substance that is associated with clogging arteries and contributing to heart disease and heart attacks. Monitoring the levels of LDL cholesterol are very important, but study results pointing to a less than ten percent margin of error may not be off enough to dispute high levels of LDL cholesterol if present.
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