The Lipid Profile is a blood test that measures cholesterol in your body.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in certain foods and in your body's cells. Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol to function normally. When too much cholesterol is present, plaque (a hard deposit) may form in your body's arteries restricting the blood to flow to the heart. This buildup causes hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) over time, which can lead to heart disease.
According to The American Heart Association, all adults age 20 or older should have a fasting lipid profile which measures these 4 levels listed below.
A total cholesterol level of 200 or more raises your risk for heart disease.
HDL is also called "good cholesterol". Higher levels of this particular category are better. The lower the level of HDL the higher the risk for heart disease. Smoking, being overweight and not excersising can all be factors that cause low HDL levels.
LDL is also called "bad cholesterol". This particular level has categories such as optimal, borderline, high, and very high. The lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. It's a better gauge of risk then your total blood cholesterol.
Elevated triglycerides are a lifestyle related risk factor. For example, overweight/obese, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and/or diet can be a factor in raising your triglycerides.
Elevated cholesterol levels generally do not produce any visible symptoms, but can result in the development of serious conditions like hypertension, stroke, and heart attacks. Have your cholesterol checked regularly, and take control of your health.
It is important to keep in mind that when determining how your cholesterol levels affect your risk for heart disease you need to take into account other risk factors such as age, family history, smoking, and high blood pressure. Lipid Panel
*The Lipid Profile Blood test is performed after a 9-12 hr fast without liquids, food, or pills. You may drink water and take prescription medications unless directed otherwise by your physician.