Lipid Profile Test: Normal Values, Who Should Get it Done, and Why?
A Lipid Profile Test is essentially a series of tests conducted together to assess the amount of cholesterol (and its subtypes) in the blood. The results of a Lipid Profile Test can help us understand, measure, monitor, diagnose and prevent a host of medical conditions, some of them potentially fatal. It can also help us diagnose and gauge the progress or success of other treatments, therapies and changes that may be happening in parallel. A Lipid Profile Test may also be recommended by a healthcare professional (including a physician or doctor) as part of a regular health program.
What are lipids?
Lipids are fat cells (and fatty substances) that circulate in the bloodstream and present in the tissues of the body. Lipids are an essential part of the body, and provide energy for our daily activities. Further, they are known to help in ensuring proper functioning of the neurological system including signal transmission as well as brain (and nerves) development. Disorders, imbalances or irregularities in the Lipid composition may lead to several illnesses – some of them even life threatening in nature – such heart attacks, strokes, or peripheral artery disease.
Why is it important to take a Lipid Profile Test?
Anyone above the age of 20 should get a Lipid Profile Test done once a year. Men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 50 must get it done twice a year, or as prescribed by their physician. For those already suffering from a coronary or heart ailment, or who have had abnormal readings in initial level Lipid Profile Tests, should go for tests more frequently.
A Lipid Profile Test is done to essentially figure out the levels of cholesterol (including ‘bad cholesterol’) and triglycerides in the body and thereby get an estimate of the risk levels of various illnesses and diseases related to the heart and blood cells.
A Lipid Profile Test may also be prescribed for individuals who:
Have a family history of premature heart disease or dyslipidaemia (abnormal levels of cholesterol and lipid levels in the body)
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What are the immediate symptoms for going for a Lipid Profile Test?
If you have been experiencing any of the below conditions, it may be a good idea to go for a Lipid Profile Test immediately.
Pain in the left arm (the left arm is more common, but in certain cases, there may be pain the right arm as well)
Indigestion or heartburn (symptoms associated with acid reflux in the stomach, or GERD)
Frequent bouts of hypertension
Should Children Go for a Cholesterol Test?
A cholesterol screening test may be prescribed for children who are between the ages of 9 and 11 by their paediatrician. A subsequent test may be conducted 5 to 8 years later at the discretion of the treating doctor. However, if the child has a family history of coronary ailments or early-onset coronary artery disease, or if the child is overweight, obese or diabetic, the attending physician will probably advice more frequent testing.
What does a Lipid Profile Test comprise?
A typical Lipid Profile test is a suite, or collection, of blood tests – done usually following twelve to fourteen hours of overnight fasting – that aim to provide a preliminary evaluation of the following elements in one’s blood stream:
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat that is essential to the proper functioning of the body. Specifically, cholesterol looks after the well-being of the outer membrane of the body’s cells. The medical fraternity had historically known that there is a relationship between cholesterol and heart diseases, and that individuals with high cholesterol are more likely to get a heart attack or illness. Recent studies have, however, shown that cholesterol isn’t always bad, and that ‘good cholesterol’ can actually be beneficial to our health.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C)
The principal job of LDL-C is to carry cholesterol from the liver to the tissues of the body. This is also called ‘Bad Cholesterol’ since an excess of LDL-C can increase the risk of ailments like heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL-C)
This is also called ‘Good Cholesterol’ since it helps to reduce LDL levels in the blood. Functionally, they act as cholesterol scavengers, extracting cholesterol from the blood and sending it back to the liver. Certain ways to increase ones HDL levels is regular exercise, consuming extra virgin olive oil, adding coconut oil to one’s diet, and avoiding smoking.
Triglycerides Triglycerides are the main ingredient in vegetable oils and animal fat, and the most common form of fat that our body digests. Triglycerides provide the energy for the body to carry on its various metabolic activities. The body converts the calories we don’t use into triglycerides. A high triglyceride count indicates that the person may be overweight, diabetic or prone to consuming too much of fried foods, alcohol and sweets.
VLDL refers to Very Low Density Lipoprotein. The liver produces VLDL which then reaches body tissues (via the bloodstream), supplying them with the fat they need to generate energy. High levels of VLDL cholesterol can lead to plaque deposition on the inner artery walls which can narrow the passageway and reduce the flow of blood.
Decoding the Results of a Lipid Test (Lipid Profile Normal Values)
A Lipid Profile Test will carry results in the mg (milligrams) per dL (decilitre) of blood. ‘Desirable’ range of reading for most adults are: (Adult Treatment Panel guidelines or ATP III Classification of LDL, Total, and HDL Cholesterol)
LDL Cholesterol – Primary Target of Therapy
◦ <100 Optimal
◦ 100-129 Near optimal/above optimal
◦ 130-159 Borderline high
◦ 160-189 High
◦ >190 Very high
◦ <200 Desirable
◦ 200-239 Borderline high
◦ >240 High
• <40 Low >60 High
Lipid Profile Test and Cost
Test Type :
Total Cholesterol, HDL Chol., Triglycerides, LDL Chol., VLDL Chol., Ratios
Overnight (10-12 Hour Fasting Required)
Within 24 Hours*
Click here to view Lipid Profile test cost in Delhi NCR, India