What is the procedure for a cholesterol test?
Since a cholesterol test is a blood test, you will need to give a blood sample. Also, it is usually performed in the morning as it requires you to fast the evening before blood extraction.
When performing a blood test, blood must be drawn from a vein in the arm. Your local GP, a nurse, or a lab technician will begin the procedure by placing a tourniquet around your upper arm. After this, they will disinfect the puncture site using a piece of cotton soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol. Once the puncture site is ready, a needle will be inserted to draw blood from the vein.
Your medical provider will then remove the tourniquet to restore blood circulation and to get enough blood samples. After collecting the blood and putting a bandage on the puncture site, the technician will transport the blood to the laboratory for analysis.
Usually, results come out within 24 hours. After the procedure, some might feel soreness or pain on the puncture site, but it will go away after a few hours. Also, you can have your first meal or drink after the test if you’ve been fasting.
What do the cholesterol test results mean?
Cholesterol is measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood or mgdL. The result of the cholesterol test will determine whether you have high, low, or normal cholesterol levels. Here’s how to interpret the numbers:
High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
- 60 mg/dL and higher – low risk of cardiovascular diseases
- 40 to 59 mg/dL – Normal
- Less than 40 mg/dL – major risk of cardiovascular diseases
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
- Less than 70 mg/dL – Best
- Below 100 mg/dL – Optimal
- 100 to 129 mg/dL – Near optimal or above optimal
- 130 to 159 mg/dL – Borderline high
- 160 to 189 mg/dL – High
- 190 mg/dL and above – Very high
- Less than 200 mg/dL – Desirable
- 200 to 239 mg/dL – High
- 240 mg/dL and above – Very high