19 Dec Cholesterol test
Alternative Names: Lipogram
A cholesterol test, or lipogram, measures different types of cholesterol (blood lipids) such as total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein), “good” cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein) and triglyceride. During the test, blood is withdrawn through a needle that is inserted into a vein, usually inside the elbow. The sample is sent for analysis. The results of the test, together with other factors, such as smoking, obesity, and exercise, are used to assess your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (disease of the heart and blood vessels).
What is it?
A lipogram is a blood test that measures the different types of cholesterol (blood lipids).
The taking of the blood sample can be done at any doctor’s rooms or clinic – the analysis is done in a laboratory.
Why is it done?
A lipogram is done because having elevated blood lipids is a recognised risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke. Most experts recommend that all adults have at least one lipogram, with follow-up tests depending on age, initial test results, and other factors.
A lipogram is able to measure:
- Total cholesterol
- Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – “bad” cholesterol
- High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) – “good” cholesterol
- Triglyceride – a type of blood lipid
This information helps doctors to assess your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (disease of the heart and blood vessels).
Before – how to prepare
You should eat and drink nothing (nil per mouth) for 12 hours before the test.
During – how the test is done
A convenient area, where there are prominent veins, is identified and cleaned – the area inside the elbow is often used. A tourniquet or tight band is applied above the area in order to increase pressure and dilate the veins. A needle is then inserted, through the skin, into a vein, and some blood is withdrawn. The needle may cause some pain, but this is not usually severe. The blood specimen is sent to the laboratory for analysis.
After the test
You will have a small dressing over the puncture wound, which can be removed after a few hours.
Risks and Compilations
There is a slight risk of excessive bleeding at the puncture site and an even smaller risk of infection.
Blood lipids are important when assessing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but should be considered in conjunction with other important factors such as smoking, obesity, and exercise, for example.
A cholesterol test, or lipogram, measures different types of cholesterol (blood lipids) such as total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein), “good” cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein) and triglyceride.
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