Also Known As
Cholesterol Panel, Coronary Risk Panel, Fasting Lipid Panel, Lipid Profile, Lipid Test, Lipoprotein Panel
What Is the Purpose of the Lipid Panel Test?
Regular lipid panel assessments are integral for your heart health. This test looks at the fats (lipids) in your blood that can cause plaque buildup, which increases the risk of heart attack (including the severe widowmaker) and stroke. Using this data, you can decide if you need to make lifestyle modifications or take medication to lower your risk and heighten your heart health. You’ll want to get a lipid profile test when you’re in your 20s or 30s, especially if you have a family history of heart disease or risk factors such as a history of smoking or high blood pressure. With one in every three deaths caused by heart disease in the United States, a lipid profile is a vital health tool.
What Does the Lipid Panel Measure?
A lipid panel test is perhaps best known for measuring cholesterol. But in addition to that overall number, it measures three subgroups of lipids:
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): This is “good” cholesterol because it helps the liver process other cholesterols so they can be eliminated from the body.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): This cholesterol tends to build up in the blood vessels and cause dangerous blockages, which is why it’s also known as “bad” cholesterol. Some tests also measure very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL).
- Triglycerides: These are the fats that are stored in the body when you consume excess carbs and fats. Triglycerides are normal at certain levels, but a high number on your lipid panel blood test can lead to cardiovascular problems.
Who Should Take a Lipid Profile Blood Test?
You may need testing if you have a genetic history of heart disease or stroke. Other health factors can heighten your risk, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy weight
- Poor diet or exercise habits
Lipid Profile Preparation
Fasting is required 12 to 14 hours prior to giving your blood sample. Also, following a stable diet for two to three weeks prior to testing is recommended for the most accurate results. (Learn more about tips that help you prepare for your blood test.)
Lipid Profile Test Results
Here are the typical normal ranges for the lipid profile blood test:
- Total cholesterol: 125 to 200 mg/dL
- LDL: Less than 100 mg/dL
- VLDL: Less than 30 mg/dL
- HDL: 40 mg/dL or more (men), 50 mg/dL or more (women)
- Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL
Depending on your results, your physician may recommend further heart health testing to diagnose or monitor any issues.
Where Can I Get a Lipid Panel Test Near Me?
Testing is simple with Personalabs:
Step 1: Buy your test and download the lab order. (You won’t need a doctor’s approval, depending on what state you live in.)
Step 2: Visit our lab locator to find a nearby facility among our 4,000-plus partner labs across the country.
Step 3: Bring the test order to the lab and have your blood drawn.
Step 4: Results will appear in your secure Personalabs account, usually within 2 to 10 business days. (Contact us if you need results by a specific date.)