Get exclusive member benefits & effect social change. Join Today
Because there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, the best way to figure out if you have it is to get regular screenings through a test called the fasting lipid or lipoprotein profile.
Also called a lipoprotein profile, a fasting lipid profile measures the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides in your blood.
In order to get an accurate reading, your doctor will generally ask you not to eat or drink anything for nine to 12 hours before the test. Foods, beverages, and certain medications can all interfere with your cholesterol numbers.
During the test, your doctor or a lab technician will draw a small amount of blood from your arm with a needle. It will then be sent to a lab to be analyzed. Your doctor should call you with the results in about a week’s time. If you don’t hear from him or her, don’t assume everything is normal. It’s always best to follow up with a phone call.
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that everyone over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol tested at least once every five years.
Some risk factors can increase how frequently you need to get the test. Those may include:
Work with your doctor to determine how often you should have your cholesterol levels checked.
Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Published on: Aug 25, 2010
Medically reviewed : Stephanie Burkhead, MPH
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.
Members save from top retailers online at the Everyday Savings Center powered by NextJump.
Members get $13.50 off oil changes Tues-Thurs at Sears Auto Center.
Go Mobile with RealPad. Connect, play and share plus free 24/7 live customer support.
Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.
Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.
Register at a location near you to keep your driving skills sharp.
Find opportunities to volunteer in your neighborhood.
NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon teams up with AARP Foundation.
AARP Foundation Prepaid MasterCard brought to you by Green Dot.