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Lipid Profile | Cholesterol Test

Lipids are fatty substances in your body. It is important to have the right amount and types of lipids in your body to stay healthy. Understanding your lipid profile is an important way to measure your risk of heart disease.

What is a lipid profile?

A lipid profile is a lab test that checks your risk of developing heart disease. Sometimes it is called a lipid panel. A lipid profile often includes the measurement of:

  • Total Cholesterol: This number should be under 200.
  • HDL (high density lipoprotein cholesterol): HDL is the “good” cholesterol because it helps remove cholesterol from your body. This number should be over 60.
  • LDL (low density lipoprotein cholesterol): LDL is the “bad” cholesterol because it can deposit fat in your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. This number should be under 100.
  • Triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood.

Sometimes lipid profile results also include:

  • VLDL-C: Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Non-HDL-C: Your total cholesterol minus your HDL
  • Cholesterol/HDL ratio: A ratio of your total cholesterol to HDL. This number should be under 150.

The results of your lipid profile may be used to help create a plan for lowering your risk of heart disease.

How is a cholesterol test performed?

A lipid profile/cholesterol test usually requires a blood sample. A small needle will be inserted into one of your veins and blood will be drawn up into a test tube. The test tube will be sent to a laboratory for testing.

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