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At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
To assess your risk of developing heart disease; to monitor effectiveness of lipid-lowering therapy
When to Get Tested?
Screening: as part of a lipid profile during a regular medical exam at least once every four to six years for adults; for children, at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between the ages of 17 and 21
Monitoring: may be done more frequently if you have risk factors for heart disease and/or if you are being treated for unhealthy lipid levels
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or from a fingerstick
Test Preparation Needed?
Current standards recommend that testing be done when you are fasting. For 9 to 12 hours before the test, only water is permitted. In addition, alcohol should not be consumed for 24 hours just before the test. 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.