Lipid Profile

WHAT IS A LIPID PROFILE?

The lipid profile is a group of tests that are often ordered together to determine risk of coronary heart disease. The tests that make up a lipid profile are tests that have been shown to be good indicators of whether someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels (hardening of the arteries)

WHAT TESTS ARE INCLUDED IN A LIPID PROFILE?

The lipid profile includes total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol (often called good cholesterol), LDL-cholesterol (often called bad cholesterol), and triglycerides.

Sometimes the report will include additional calculated values such as HDL/Cholesterol ratio or a risk score based on lipid profile results, age, sex, and other risk factors.

HOW IS A LIPID PROFILE USED?

The lipid profile is used to guide physicians in deciding how a person at risk should be treated. The results of the lipid profile are considered along with other known risk factors of heart disease to develop a plan of treatment and follow-up.

WHO SHOULD BE SCREENED FOR LIPID DISORDERS?

  • All men aged 35 and older and all women aged 45 and older
  • Younger adults (men aged 20-35 and women aged 20-45) should be screened if they have other risk factors for heart disease which include:
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease or high cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

See how your cholesterol numbers compare to the tables below.(According to the ATP III Cholesterol Guidelines NHLBI)

Total Cholesterol Level Total Cholesterol Category
Less than 200 mg/dL Desirable
200-239 mg/dL Borderline high
240 mg/dL and above High
HDL Cholesterol Level HDL Cholesterol Category
Less than 40 mg/dL A major risk factor for heart disease
40 - 59 mg/dL The higher, the better
60 mg/dL and above Considered protective against heart disease
LDL Cholesterol Level LDL Cholesterol Category
Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
100-129 mg/dL Near optimal/above optimal
130-159 mg/dL and above Borderline high
160-189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very high
Triglycerdes Level Triglycerdes Category
< 150 mg/dL High
150-199 mg/dL Borderline high
200-499 mg/dL High
> 500 mg/dL Very high
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