What is lipid profile and what does it tell you?
Lipid profile is one of the most common tests done to assess the level of cholesterols in the body. It is an indicator of the cardiovascular health. Let’s learn more about why this test is done and what do the numbers indicate.
What is lipid profile?
Lipid profile measures the level of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (TGs) in your body.
Why is Lipid Profile done?
The lipid profile gives an idea about the cardiovascular health. It is usually done for
- Cardiac risk assessment
- Planning cardiac treatment
- Initiation and monitoring of statins therapy-the anti-lipid medication
How is the test done?
Lipid profiling can be done at any time of the day. However, for total cholesterol level, the test is usually done in the fasting state after overnight fasting of 8-12 hours in adults. The duration is lesser in children (4-8 hours). The test is taken on an empty stomach as it gives a more accurate picture of the total lipid levels of the body since meal intake may temporarily raise the lipid levels in the blood stream.
Lipid profiling is an invasive blood test. For this test, a sample of blood is taken, usually from the veins in the wrist or the forearm. Except for a slight needle prick, the test does not cause much pain.
What are the “goal values” for lipid profile?
- Total cholesterol should be 75-169 mg/dL for those age 20 and younger and 100-199 mg/dL for those over age 21.
- High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol should be greater than 40mg/dL.
- Low density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol should be less than 70 mg/dL for those with heart or blood vessel disease; less than 100 mg/dL for high risk patients; and less than 130 mg/dL for individuals who are at low risk for heart diseases.
- Triglycerides (TG) levels should be less than 150 mg/dL.
What if My Lipid Profile is deranged?
Any values not falling within the abovementioned limits indicate derangement of the lipid metabolism and need expert evaluation by a medical specialist. The earlier the underlying cause is detected, the sooner can treatment be initiated which can help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases in future.