Cholesterol is an essential body fat (lipid). It is necessary for building cell membranes and for producing a number of essential hormones. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and also comes from the food we eat. Elevated cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. This tests breaks down the cholesterol in your blood into the different types giving a full picture of your status.
Cholesterol, known as a lipid, is a fatty substance which is found in the blood. It plays an essential role in how cells in the body work. However, too much cholesterol in the blood (hyperlipidaemia) can have a serious effect on your health as it increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. This test measures all the various types of cholesterol in your blood.
LDL (or ‘bad’) cholesterol deposits on your artery walls and hardens over time. This narrows the arteries and increases your risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, HDL (or ‘good’) cholesterol can help stop this narrowing by taking bad cholesterol and depositing it through the liver. So therefore, healthy cholesterol levels would consist of low levels of LDL cholesterol and high level of HDL cholesterol.
Triglycerides are the main source of fat in the body but high levels in the blood can raise the risk of heart diesaes. Triglycerides are affected by what you eat – a recent fatty meal can raise levels which is why this blood test is done after fasting overnight.
This test also assesses your Heart Disease Risk Ratio calculated as HDL % of Total cholesterol.
Your lipid panel will give you
Blood cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.
As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:
As a general guide, LDL levels should be:
An ideal level of HDL is above 1mmol/L. A lower level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease.
Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL should be below four, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease.
Who is this test is for
Anyone who wants to under their cholesterol levels.