Which Tests to Get?

How much do you need to know about your levels of cholesterol and other blood components to understand your risk of heart disease and how to lower it? That depends on several factors. For some people, a basic cholesterol! screening will suffice. Others will want to investigate further. Use this chart as a general guide to help you determine which blood tests you may need,

Test Who Should Have it Are More Tests Needed?

This test includes total cholesterol and HDL counts.
Every healthy adult age 20 and older,at least once every five years. No If there's no obvious reason to suspect an increased risk of heart disease (such as a family history of heart disease) and the results are normal, no further testing should be required.
Yes if the results are abnormal, or if they are normal but there are other reasons to suspect an increased risk, you should have a complete lipid profile.
Complete Lipid Profile
This test includes counts for HDL, LDL,VLDL, and triglycer-ides,
People with abnormal-ities on routine cholestrol those at increased risk of heart disease for ther reasons; and those being treated for any lipid disorder. No If the results explain your apparent heart disease risk and adequate to guide any treatment decisions, no further testing should be required.
Yes If you are at above-average risk for heart disease (for instance, due to a strong family history of CHD) and your results are either normal or insufficiently abnormal to explain your personal risk, you should have additional testing to rule out other, more subtle risk factors.
Additional Tests
Other tests measure the following:
  • Apolipoprotein A
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Lipoprotein (a)
  • Homocysteine*
  • LDL subtypes (e.g small, dense LDL)
  • C-reactive protein
  • Oxidative burden and antioxidant capacity*
  • Fibrinogen*
  • Uric acid*
Specialized testing is warranted when heart disease, or apparent risk for heart disease,is not fully explained by a complete lipid you have a strong family history of heart disease and yet your lipid normal) or whenever antioxidant more guidance for treatment is required. Yes Under fairly unusual circumstances,such as when heart disease or heart disease risk factor don't respond as expected to therapy, more elaborate testing may be suggested by a specialist.

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