Cholesterol is a form of fat that stabilises the outer membranes of cells in your body. Despite playing a crucial role in the normal functioning of the body, high levels of cholesterol make you more susceptible to developing heart diseases. Different forms of cholesterol, which include good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, greatly affect your overall health. High levels of bad cholesterol and total cholesterol, as well as low levels of good cholesterol, can raise your chances of developing cardiovascular problems.
For example, bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) can stick to the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, this can clog your arteries, which can lead to the development of blood clots and result in heart attacks. Another kind of fat present in the body is triglycerides. High levels of these fats also increase your chances of developing diabetes or suffering a stroke or heart attack. Different kinds of fats present in your bloodstream are together known as lipids. A lipid profile test is an effective way of measuring the amount of both - good fat and bad fat - in your blood, thereby identifying your risk of developing serious health conditions. So, read on to learn more about this test and how it can help you.
What is Lipid Profile Test?
A is a common blood test used to measure the amount of lipids in your blood. In most cases, this diagnostic test involves the measurement of your triglycerides and four different cholesterol types. A cholesterol test can help in determining the level of fatty deposit buildup in your arteries, which can lead to blocked or narrowed arteries in the body. This test serves as an important tool for identifying your risk of developing heart problems.
What Does a Lipid Profile Test Include?
A lipid profile includes a series of tests that analyse a sample of your blood to measure different kinds of lipids. Some of the common tests included in a lipid profile are:
Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol
Also referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’, LDL is a kind of lipid that accumulates in your blood vessels, increasing your risk of heart diseases.
High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol
Also known as ‘good cholesterol’, HDL is a type of lipid that helps reduce the buildup of LDL in blood vessels.
Very Low-density Lipoprotein (VLDL) Cholesterol
This kind of cholesterol is present in very low amounts in a fasting blood sample as it mostly comes from recently consumed food. An increase in this kind of cholesterol in a fasting sample can indicate abnormal lipid metabolism.
It refers to the overall cholesterol level in your blood, including HDL, LDL, and VLDL cholesterol.
This is a kind of lipid that comes from the food you eat. Higher than normal levels of triglycerides in the blood are linked to pancreatic inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.
What are Considered Normal Results of a Lipid Profile Test?
Triglyceride levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood. Normal results for a lipid profile test in adults are as follows:
HDL: 40 to 60 mg/dL
LDL: Less than 100 mg/dL
VLDL: Under 30 mg/dL
Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL
Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL
Cholesterol levels outside these ranges may put you at a higher risk of stroke, heart diseases, and atherosclerosis.
Who Should Get a Lipid Profile Test Done?
Getting your cholesterol tested is essential for those who:
Are obese or overweight
Have a family history of heart diseases or high cholesterol
Drink alcohol frequently
Have diabetes, PCOS, underactive thyroid gland, or kidney diseases
Lead an inactive lifestyle
It’s recommended that all healthy adults get regular lipid profile tests every 4 to 6 years. People with a family history of high cholesterol or other risk factors should get tested more frequently. It’s also advisable that children, teenagers and young adults get tested between the ages of 9 and 11 and then again between the ages of 17 and 21.
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