You may have been wondering, ‘what is a lipid profile blood test for’? Well, let us begin this way. There are many risk factors to stroke, heart attack and coronary heart diseases, but amongst all the elements, cholesterol seems to be the most prevalent. The cholesterol level of a person can be evaluated with a lipid profile test. This test can also help determine the level of a person’s risk to develop these life-threatening diseases.

What is lipid profile blood test?

Lipid profile test means a group of tests that helps to ascertain a person’s risk of coronary heart disease. It is also used as a preventive measure to determine how many factors like lifestyle, eating habits, exercise and stress will increase a person’s risk of heart disease. The following tests are involved in a typical lipid profile:

  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) known to be the bad cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) known to be the good cholesterol
  • Calculated values of LDL/HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C)

Total cholesterol

Computed values of total cholesterol/HDL Ratio

Lipid is the generic name for the fat and fatty substances stored in your tissues and blood, and the body uses them as a source of energy. These lipids are essential to maintain the general function of the body, but if lipid disorder occurs, the life of the individual may be at risk. An example of lipid disorder is high cholesterol as it is one of the significant causes of stroke, heart attack and coronary artery disease.

The aim of performing a lipid panel or lipid profile test is to determine:

  • The total cholesterol level
  • LDL cholesterol (which is the bad cholesterol)
  • HDL cholesterol (which is the good cholesterol)
  • Triglyceride levels

You can get the results for this test within 24 to 36 hours.

Why should you get tested?

Lipid profile test is an essential test for checking for the symptoms of dyslipidemia. It is also used for children and adults who are at a higher risk of having a high amount of triglycerides and a high blood cholesterol value. This high-risk level is usually due to high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Sometimes, the lipid profile test is also recommended as a follow up to see the effect of a diet control program and a treatment undergone.

Some doctors include the lipid profile test as a part of the routine health exam. They use the result to monitor, prevent, or diagnose any medical conditions. It is also recommendedto evaluate the success of some treatments, or the current effect of lipid-lowering lifestyle changes, or the effectiveness of some drug therapies.

Adults should undergo a fasting lipid profile test once every four to six years, even when they are not at risk of heart disease. They may be required to test more frequently if there are other risk factors present. Having a high level of bad cholesterol (LDL-C) puts one at the risk of many diseases and medical conditions.

Other risk factors are:

  • Being overweight
  • Eating an unhealthy diet
  • Smoking
  • Lack of enough exercise or not being physically active
  • Being above 45 years as a male
  • Being above 50 or 55 years
  • Suffering from hypertension
  • Already existing case of heart diseases
  • Having family members who had premature heart diseases
  • Having a previous episode of heart attack
  • Having prediabetes or diabetes

The presence of high levels of HDL (also known as the negative risk factor) permits the removal of a risk factor. We advise children and adolescents to have a routing lipid profile test.

Why you need to take the lipid profile test

You should take lipid profile test if you experience the symptoms of dyslipidemia which include:

  • Jaw pain, toothache, and headache
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Indigestion and/or heartburn
  • Nausea, vomiting and general discomfort in the upper middle abdomen (epigastria)
  • General malaise
  • Hypertension
  • Sweating
  • Pain in the arm (either the left or right but the left is prevalent)
  • Fullness, pain and or a feeling that your chest is squeezing
  • Pain in the upper back.

Preparations required for lipid profile test

The initial preparation you need for a lipid profile test is fasting. This is because your fasting samples will be collected after fasting overnight for about 12 – 14 hours.

During this fasting period, you will be allowed to consume water and other clear fluids. You will not be allowed to drink coffee, milk or tea in the morning until the specimen is collected.If you have diabetes and currently taking injectable or oral hypoglycaemic agents, let your doctor know before the specimen is collected.

Before the test will be performed, you will be needed to follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid eating foods with a high level of fat on the night before your test
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid strenuous exercise before the test

If your doctor requires you to fast before this test, which means you are not to take any food or drink except water between 9 to 12 hours before your test.

Most times, you will be allowed to take your medications before the test (in the morning) with water. Though fasting is not particularly necessary, your doctor may recommend it. You will be informed of other precautions if any by your doctor. Do not forget to tell the doctor about the medical history of your family, the supplements or medications you are taking and any health problem or symptom you may be experiencing.

What the test detects

This test measures the level of cholesterol in the blood in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) of blood. The normal values of the lipid profile are:

  • LDL 70 – 130 mg/dL (it is better if it lower)
  • HDL above 40 – 60 mg/Dl (it is better if higher)
  • Total cholesterol lower than 200 mg/dL (it is better if lower)
  • Triglycerides 10 – 150 mg/dL (it is better if lower)

If your results don’t fall within the normal range, you could be at a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, etc.. After receiving an abnormal result; you can consult our doctor. This doctor of ours will help you run other tests like a thyroid test to be sure you do not have an underactive thyroid or a blood glucose test (for diabetes).

Does the test request any sample?

The type of specimen needed is your blood sample (serum).

The specimen is collected through venepuncture (the collection of blood form any of your veins, most preferably, the one from your arm).

What does the lipid profile test cost?

The cost of lipid profile test differs from one lab to another. However, the price for lipid profile tests should not be too high and should be easy to afford. But do not expect to pay the same amount for a home lipid profile test with a traditional pathological lab.

How can we be of help?

You can get us to run a lipid profile test for you right from the comfort of your home. Ourlipid profile blood work isone of the best ranging from the ease of consultation to the care from our nurses, lab test and other health services. Our prices for the lipid profile test are also highly competitive.

If what you need is a quality home lipid profile test you can trust, have some rest because we’ve got your back. We encourage you to book with us and have a taste of our super-efficient healthcare services and highly professional and friendly healthcare staff.

You can always contact us for your private Blood Test London. We are still available to give you the best attention. We run our tests diligently to provide you with a mistake-free result.

Interpretation of the results

You can understand the analysis of your lipid profile test results from the table below:

Reference range Meaning
LDL bad cholesterol 70 to 130 mg/dL (better if lower)
HDL good cholesterol Above 40 to 60 mg/dL (better if higher)
VLDL 2 to 38 mg/dL
Total cholesterol Lower than 200 mg/dL (better if lower)
Triglycerides 10 to 150 mg/dL (better if lower)

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