Cholesterol, Total Most Popular

The Cholesterol, Total test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Description: The Cholesterol Total test is a blood test used to check levels of cholesterol in your blood’s serum to determine risk of heart disease.

Also Known As: Blood Cholesterol Test, Total Cholesterol Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: If a cholesterol measurement is to be performed along with triglycerides, the patient should be fasting for at least 9 hours.

When is a Cholesterol Total test ordered?

Cholesterol testing is advised as a screening test for all persons without heart disease risk factors at least once every four to six years. It is frequently combined with a standard physical examination.

When a person has one or more risk factors for heart disease, their cholesterol is tested more frequently.

Children and young people should have their lipid profiles checked for elevated cholesterol. Between the ages of 9 and 11, and again between the ages of 17 and 21, they should be tested. Children and teenagers who are at a higher risk of developing heart disease as adults should be screened with a lipid profile earlier and more frequently. A family history of heart disease or health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or being overweight are some of the risk factors, which are comparable to those in adults. Cholesterol testing is indicated when a child's BMI is at or above the 85th percentile. Laboratory testing to evaluate cholesterol levels may be recommended every two years for an obese adolescent.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, high-risk children should receive their first cholesterol test between the ages of 2 and 8. Children under the age of two are not eligible for testing. The fasting test should be repeated in three to five years if the initial results are not alarming.

Total cholesterol tests may be conducted at regular intervals as part of a lipid profile to assess the success of lipid-lowering lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, or to determine the efficacy of medication therapy like statins. Adults on statins should have a fasting lipid profile done 4 to 12 weeks after commencing therapy and then every 3 to 12 months after that to ensure that the drug is effective, according to the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

What does a Cholesterol Total blood test check for?

Cholesterol is a vital component of life. It creates cell membranes in all of the body's organs and tissues. Hormones required for development, growth, and reproduction are produced using it. It produces bile acids, which are necessary for food absorption. The total cholesterol transported in the blood by lipoproteins is measured by the cholesterol test.

Lipoproteins are complex particles that carry a small quantity of cholesterol in the blood. Each particle comprises a mixture of protein, cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid molecules, and they are classed as high-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, or very low-density lipoproteins based on their density. LDL-C particles, also known as "bad" cholesterol, deposit cholesterol in tissues and organs whereas HDL-C particles take excess cholesterol away for disposal.

It is critical to monitor and maintain good cholesterol levels in order to stay healthy. The body manufactures the cholesterol it needs to function correctly, although some cholesterol comes from food. If a person has a hereditary propensity to high cholesterol levels or consumes too many foods high in saturated and trans unsaturated fats, the amount of cholesterol in their blood may rise, posing a health risk. Plaques on the walls of blood arteries may form as a result of excess cholesterol in the circulation. Plaques can constrict or block blood channel openings, resulting in artery hardening (atherosclerosis) and an increased risk of a variety of health problems, including heart disease and stroke.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cholesterol Total test:

  • Lipid Panel
  • HDL Cholesterol
  • LDL Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Lipoprotein Fractionation Ion Mobility

Conditions where a Cholesterol Total test is recommended:

  • Heart Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke

How does my health care provider use a Cholesterol Total test?

The total cholesterol test is used alone or in conjunction with a lipid profile to assist forecast an individual's risk of developing heart disease and to help determine what treatment may be required if the risk is borderline or high. It can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment once it is started as part of a lipid profile

Cholesterol testing is considered a normal aspect of preventative healthcare because high blood cholesterol has been linked to artery hardening, heart disease, and an increased risk of mortality from heart attacks.

The results of the cholesterol test and other components of the lipid profile, as well as other recognized heart disease risk factors, are utilized to build a treatment and follow-up strategy. Treatment options may include lipid-lowering medicines such as statins or lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise regimens.

What do my Cholesterol test results mean?

Healthy lipid levels, in general, aid in the maintenance of a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. To evaluate a person's overall risk of heart disease, if therapy is necessary, and, if so, which treatment will best serve to minimize the person's risk, a healthcare practitioner will consider total cholesterol results and the other components of a lipid profile, as well as other risk factors.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Blood Cholesterol, Cholesterol Total, Total Cholesterol

Cholesterol, Total

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much in your blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood and stick to the walls of your arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can narrow your arteries or even block them. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Your cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older. There are usually no signs or symptoms that you have high blood cholesterol, but it can be detected with a blood test. You are likely to have high cholesterol if members of your family have it, if you are overweight or if you eat a lot of fatty foods. You can lower your cholesterol by exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables. You also may need to take medicine to lower your cholesterol.
*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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