Basic Facts About Cholesterol
◦  Children Can Be Affected By High Cholesterol
◦  Cholesterol and Your Child
◦  Cholesterol Level Facts
◦  The Top Dangers Associated With High Cholesterol
◦  What to do About Cholesterol Numbers
◦  Older Americans and Cholesterol
◦  Preventing High Cholesterol Levels
◦  Understanding Your Cholesterol Test
◦  At-home Cholesterol Tests
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Understanding Your Cholesterol Test

Some names that you may here bantered about when people or your doctor speaks of cholesterol tests are: Lipid test, Liproprotein test or Total cholesterol test. All of these names are for alternative names for cholesterol testing.

 

Your doctor has ordered a cholesterol test, or you have just received your results back from a test and you want to understand the results and why it was necessary to have your cholesterol tested.

Your doctor of course is your first and best resource for understanding your test results but it is always good to gather information about your health and keep it in a place where you can refer back to it if necessary.

Some names that you may here bantered about when people or your doctor speaks of cholesterol tests are: Lipid test, Liproprotein test or Total cholesterol test. All of these names are for alternative names for cholesterol testing.

The National Cholesterol Education Panel gave some recommendations in 2001, for all lipid tests so that they could be performed after fasting and that they could measure all four cholesterol components: HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.

The total cholesterol test is the measurement of all lipid measurements taken at all laboratories, and is listed as milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The higher your total cholesterol level generally the higher your risk for heart disease.

A value on this test of 200 mg/dL or less is desirable. If your levels were at 240 mg/dL or higher that would put you at almost twice the risk of heart disease as that person who has a level of less than 200 mg/dL.

If you or someone in your immediate family has known heart disease, peripheral vascular disease that is blockages in the blood vessels of your arms or legs, or diabetes, your LDL cholesterol should be checked on a regular basis.

The way the ideal LDL level is determined is by risk factors.

You have known heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and diabetes than your LDL cholesterol should be below 100 mg/dL.

Cholesterol Ratio

Another study, the Framingham Heart Study, also found that there was no effect of cholesterol in the elderly (70s and 80s). The study did show evidence that cholesterol tests taken at age 50 was a good way to determine if they were at risk for heart disease. Cholesterol Ratio

If you have 2 or more heart disease risk factors (you are a smoker, you have high blood pressure, or you have low HDL cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease, and are a man over 45 or a woman over 55; than your LDL should be below 13 mg/dL.

If you have 1 of the above risk factors for heart disease or none, your LDL cholesterol should be below 160 mg/dL.

If your HDL cholesterol levels are more than or equal to 60 mg/dL than this will take away one risk factor and decrease your risk of heart disease.

 If however, your HDL cholesterol is 40 mg/dL or lower than you add 1 risk factor for heart disease.

Even if you have low LDL and high HDL cholesterol, you may still be at risk for heart disease if your triglyceride levels are high.

Normal triglyceride levels are less than 150 mg/dL. To be tested for triglyceride levels you must complete a 9 - 12 hours fast.

Not completing the 9 - 12 hour fast correctly could inadequately higher your triglyceride level result.

Discuss with your doctor not only your cholesterol test results but also what your risk factors are for heart disease including any risk factors associated with your cholesterol test results.

If you are at risk for heart disease makes sure you discuss with your doctor your options for lowering your risk.