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HDL Cholesterol

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Also known as: HDL; HDL-C
Formal name: High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To determine your risk of developing heart disease

When to Get Tested?

Screening: as part of a regular health exam with a lipid profile when no risk factors for heart disease are present; once every four to six years in adults; children should have a lipid profile screening at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and then again between the ages of 17 and 21.

Monitoring: may be done more frequently and at regular intervals as part of a lipid profile when risk factors for heart disease are present, when prior results showed high risk levels, and/or when undergoing treatment for unhealthy lipid levels

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or from a fingerstick

Test Preparation Needed?

If this test is to be performed as part of a complete lipid profile, fasting for 9 to 12 hours typically will be required; only water is permitted. Your healthcare practitioner may decide that you may be tested without fasting. Follow any instructions you are given and tell the person drawing your blood whether or not you have fasted. For youths without risk factors, testing may be done without fasting.