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LDL Cholesterol

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Also known as: LDL; LDL-C
Formal name: Low-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?

As part of a regular exam with a cholesterol test or lipid profile at least once every five years in adults; youth should be tested at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and once again between the ages of 17 and 21; at regular intervals when risk factors for heart disease are present, when prior results showed high risk levels, and/or to monitor effectiveness of treatment

Sample Required?

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

Test Preparation Needed?

Laboratory tests for LDL-C typically require a 12-hour fast; only water is permitted. Follow any instructions you are given.