Advertisement

What is a fasting lipid profile test?

Dr. Dean G. Karalis, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)
A lipid profile is a blood test that measures the different types of cholesterol in your blood. The test measures total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol (the "bad cholesterol") and triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart disease while high levels of HDL cholesterol reduce one's risk for heart disease. The test is usually performed fasting and patients are told to fast for at least 8 hours before the blood test is drawn. This is because LDL cholesterol in a lipid profile test is usually calculated and not measured directly and if someone has just eaten triglyceride levels may increase and LDL cholesterol cannot be accurately measured. A fasting lipid profile can help assess your risk for cardiovascular disease.
The main results that one will get in a lipid profile is not just the total level of cholesterol, but also, importantly, the amount of the different types of cholesterol. High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and/or triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Importantly, low HDL (good) cholesterol is also associated with increased risk.
A fasting lipid profile test is a test to check a person’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Fasting is needed to get an accurate triglyceride level.
A fasting lipid profile test is a simple blood test. This test requires patients to abstain from eating eight hours prior to having their blood drawn. The test provides information on total cholesterol, type of cholesterol and ratios, and triglyceride levels to develop a profile of the patient's baseline risk of heart disease.

Continue Learning about Lab Tests

How often should my homocysteine levels be checked?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
If a person has severe vascular disease or arterial aging disease, such as stroke, heart attack, per...
More Answers
What can I do to make having blood drawn easier on my child?
Alliance For Kids®Alliance For Kids®
To make having blood drawn easier on your child, try the following: distraction, paying attentio...
More Answers
What is the process for getting a blood sample taken?
Jumo HealthJumo Health
Blood samples are taken by a doctor, nurse or another healthcare professional. The process for getti...
More Answers
Should I have a blood workup?
Janelle Gallo , NASM Elite TrainerJanelle Gallo , NASM Elite Trainer
It is always helpful to get annual bloodwork done. This is a great way to see whether physiologicall...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.