In most people, there's absolutely no way to tell if they have a healthy level of cholesterol, or if it's dangerously high, without a cholesterol test. This is why cholesterol tests are a vitally important part of understanding and contributing to a healthy lifestyle, especially as you get older.
What is a cholesterol test?
Cholesterol testing isn't difficult. It's a simple blood test, the same type that you've had multiple times in your life.
Like most blood tests, they should be able to be performed at any hospital, or perhaps at your local doctors surgery.
You may need one or more samples taken, though your doctor will advise you of this beforehand.
Fasting and cholesterol tests
The only major difference between a cholesterol test and others is that you may be asked to fast beforehand.
This means you are not allowed to eat anything or drink anything besides water for a period before your test, generally somewhere around 12 hours. This is to ensure a more accurate result.
Once your blood has been taken, it will be sent for analysis, and your results will be sent to your doctor, and usually also to yourself.
Once your doctor has seen your results, they will be able to advise you of your current level of risk, based around your general health, age, family history and other risk factors.
How often should I have a cholesterol test?
According to the American Heart Association, your cholesterol levels should be checked around every 4 to 6 years. 5 years is seen as the average time to leave between tests.
Once you reach 40, your doctor will assess your long term heart health risks, and may advise you to have your cholesterol levels checked more frequently.
You may also need to have your cholesterol levels checked if you have a higher level of risk in your family, e.g. a history of heart problems, or your lifestyle leads to higher risk.
Getting your LDL levels tested is simple, safe and fast. There is literally no reason, once you're older than 20, that you shouldn't be having your cholesterol levels checked regularly.
If you're concerned about your cholesterol, or your general health, contact your healthcare provider today and arrange for a test as soon as you can.
Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.