Cholesterol Tests and Their Functions

Cholesterol Tests and Their Functions

Cholesterol blood tests are carried out to enable you and your healthcare provider to have a better understanding of the likelihood of you getting heart disease, stroke, and other problems that can be caused by narrowed or blocked arteries.

The reason for taking cholesterol tests depends on whether you have heart disease, diabetes, or other risk factors. He or she would tell you what your goal should be.

Your healthcare provider may suggest that you take a Total Cholesterol Test as your first test to measure all types of cholesterol in your blood and Lipid profile which could include Total cholesterol, Low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), High-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol), Triglycerides, and Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL cholesterol).

Men should get their first screening test by age 35 while women should get theirs by age 45 for women. However, you should have a cholesterol test carried out at an earlier age if you have Diabetes, Heart disease, Stroke, High blood pressure, or a strong family history of heart disease.

Make sure you carry out follow-up testing every 5 years if your test results are normal and every year or so if you are taking medicines to control high cholesterol.

There is bad cholesterol called LDL. It can clog your arteries. Too much LDL in the human body has been linked to heart disease and stroke. LDL would oftentimes be considered to be very high if it falls at 190 mg/dL or higher.

LDL would also be considered too high if:

Persons who are between the ages of 40 and 75 have diabetes 

Persons have a high risk of getting heart disease and diabetes 

Persons have a medium or high risk of heart disease

Persons  have heart disease, a history of a stroke in their family, or poor circulation to their legs

Healthcare specialists have traditionally set a target level for LDL cholesterol for people being treated with medicines to lower their cholesterol.

Levels that fall between 70 and 189 mg/dL (3.9 and 10.5 mmol/) can be considered high if the individual has diabetes and is between ages 40 and 75, has diabetes and a high risk of heart disease, has a medium or high risk of heart disease and has heart disease, history of a stroke, or poor circulation in their legs.

There is also the good cholesterol called HDL Cholesterol. The HDL Cholesterol has been broadened.  

Research and studies have indicated that for both men and women, the greater the level of their HDL Cholesterol, the lower the risk of contracting coronary artery disease.  

You should have an HDL cholesterol level that is greater than 40 to 60 mg/dL (2.2 to 3.3 mmol/l) to have healthy cholesterol 

HDL can be occasionally referred to as simply the “good” cholesterol. 

Carrying out a complete cholesterol test would test the calculation of four types of fats in your blood

  • Total cholesterol:

This total test of your blood’s cholesterol content.

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: 

This involves testing the “bad” cholesterol because too much LDL in your blood would result in the increase of fatty deposits in your arteries. 

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol:

This is considered to be “good” cholesterol as it helps carry away LDL cholesterol, therefore keeping your arteries open and helping your blood flow more freely.

  • Triglycerides:

 When we eat, our bodies convert calories it doesn’t need into triglycerides. These are stored in fat cells. High triglyceride levels can be associated with several factors like being overweight, eating too many sweets and sugary things or drinking too much alcohol, smoking, being sedentary, or having diabetes with elevated blood sugar levels