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All You Need to Know About the Lipid-Profile Test

All You Need to Know About the Lipid-Profile Test

Max Lab

Apr 01, 2022

Lipids are fat molecules that are used by the body as a source of energy. They circulate through the body and are stored in the tissues for the proper functioning of the body. Lipids are produced by the body and also come from food intake. Having too many lipids in the body can lead to a build-up in the arteries and blood vessels, increasing the chance of cardiovascular diseases and other life-threatening conditions. That is why a complete lipid profile test or lipid panel test is performed to measure the total undissolved fat molecules in the blood. A lipid profile test is important for people who have a family history of heart diseases or of high cholesterol level, drink alcohol frequently, are overweight, have diabetes or kidney diseases, have an inactive lifestyle, etc.

What is a Lipid Profile Test?

A lipid profile test is a collection of blood tests that are performed to check for risks related to coronary heart conditions. The lipid profile test measures cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood. Having too many lipids in the blood can lead to a build-up and blockage in the arteries and blood vessels. So, a complete lipid profile test is recommended by healthcare providers for both adults and children to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the long run.

What is the Lipid Profile Test Used For?

There are several factors that can lead to cholesterol abnormalities, Including diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart-related issues. A lipid profile test is performed to determine the cholesterol levels in the body as well as to evaluate the success of various treatments a person may be undergoing for these conditions. Lipid profile tests can also be performed to diagnose other issues like liver disease. Some doctors also recommend a complete lipid profile test as a routine check-up to monitor the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides among adults and children, irrespective of how healthy a lifestyle they maintain. The results from the lipid profile test are then used to check, monitor, or prevent various other medical conditions.

What is Measured in a Lipid Profile Test?

There are several reasons why a person might need a Lipid Profile Test. A lipid profile test offers details about four types of lipids in the blood, which are:

  • Total Cholesterol: The Lipid Profile Test measures the total amount of cholesterol in the blood.
  • High-Density Lipoprotein: The test measures the amount of good cholesterol in the blood, which helps remove bad cholesterol.
  • Low-Density Lipoprotein: The test measures the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood, which is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Triglycerides: This is the most common type of cholesterol found in the body. A high level of triglycerides can increase the risk of pancreatic inflammation or cardiovascular diseases.

People who are undergoing treatment for cholesterol control need regular lipid profile tests done, based on their doctor’s recommendations to check for the effectiveness of the treatment. The test also helps in screening for early signs of cholesterol abnormalities so one may avail timely treatment.

Who Should Get a Lipid Profile Test?

Children and adults are both at risk of having high cholesterol. People with more risk factors for having high cholesterol or cardiac issues are generally prescribed lipid profile tests to help track their health. Some of the major risk factors include:

Family History of Premature Heart Diseases

People with a family history of premature heart diseases or cardiovascular diseases are highly likely to have abnormal cholesterol and triglycerides levels. When premature heart diseases run in the family, a person is more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases than others.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

Unhealthy eating habits that include excessive alcohol intake, smoking, eating too much junk food or processed meats, and not having a proper schedule for eating also increase the risk of having high cholesterol. It is always recommended to inculcate healthy eating habits and avoid fatty food.

Being Overweight

If a person is obese or overweight, there are high chances that they may have high levels of cholesterol, which can also lead to other health problems in the long run.

Medical History

People who already have a history of heart issues, hypertension, or heart surgery are also recommended to get regular lipid profile tests performed to track the condition of their health.

Preparation Required for a Lipid Profile Test

To prepare for a lipid profile test, doctors generally recommend fasting for a minimum of 12-14 hours or overnight. As the levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides depend largely on the type of food a person consumes, right before the test, high-fat food or alcohol consumption should be avoided. Before the blood sample is collected, a person should also avoid fluid intake like tea, coffee, or milk, except for water. In case a person is on medication for some condition, they should inform their doctor prior to the blood test so any changes in lipid levels brought on by the medication can be factored in while checking the test results. As in some cases, fasting is not required for a lipid profile test, it is important to get professional advice from the doctor about any preparation that must be made before the test.

What Does the Lipid Profile Test Result Mean?

The level of cholesterol in the blood is measured in mg/dl, which is milligram per deciliter. If the test results are higher than the normal range, then the person has increased risks of suffering from cardiovascular issues. And if the test results are slightly lower than the normal range, it is classified as borderline or intermediate cholesterol issues. For most people, the ideal range for the lipid profile test is:

  • Total Cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dl.
  • High-Density Lipoprotein: Between 40-60 mg/dl.
  • Low-Density Lipoprotein: Between 70-130 mg/dl.
  • Triglycerides: Between 10-150 mg/dl.

What Happens if the Lipid Profile is High?

A high lipid profile test result means that the person has high levels of total cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart diseases, stroke, etc. If the lipid profile test result is high, it is important to consult a doctor for any further testing that may be required and for beginning treatment. Lifestyle changes like adopting healthy eating habits and routine exercising can also help in maintaining a healthy lipid profile.

Time Taken for Lipid Profile Test Results

The lipid profile test is a fairly uncomplicated process, and at Max Lab, a lipid profile test report is usually generated within 24 hours after the sample collection.

Cholesterol and triglycerides play an important role in maintaining the overall health of the body. Some ways of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in the body include a proper intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, avoiding trans-fats, exercising daily, maintaining healthy body weight, avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption, and leading a healthy lifestyle. In case of a cholesterol abnormality, a person must consult with a healthcare professional for getting a screening performed and begin treatment if required.


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