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Lipid disorders are diagnosed with blood tests that measure the level of cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood.

Blood Tests

A small blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. You may need to fast for several hours, usually overnight, before your blood is taken. The test measures levels of:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

The results will be one of several factors your doctor will use to determine your overall heart disease risk. What level is ideal for you will depend on your heart disease risk factors such as weight, smoking history, family history, medical history, and age.

References:

American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association. 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013: early online. Available at: http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleID=1770217. Accessed January 13, 2014.

Hypercholesterolemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 20, 2013. Accessed January 13, 2014.

Hypertriglyceridemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 20, 2013. Accessed January 13, 2014.



Last reviewed March 2014 by Marcin Chwistek, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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