What is a cholesterol test?
A simple blood test that measures total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) and triglycerides.
Cholesterol is a form of fat carried in your blood by lipoproteins. LDL deposits cholesterol in your artery walls, and HDL carries cholesterol away from your arteries and to your liver for disposal. Problems occur when your LDL deposits too much cholesterol in your artery walls or when your HDL doesn't take enough away. This can lead to a buildup of cholesterol-containing fatty deposits (plaques) in your arteries (atherosclerosis).
Why should I get a cholesterol test?
To evaluate the level of cholesterol in your blood. Undesirable levels of cholesterol raise your risk of heart attack and stroke.
How often should I get a cholesterol test?
If you're 20 years of age or older, have your cholesterol measured every five years. Your doctor may recommend more frequent measurements if your levels are abnormal.
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