Why cholesterol level should be checked?
Cholesterol level plays an important role in determining someone’s risk of cardiovascular diseases. High level of LDL and triglycerides tells us there might be a problem with the body entire health, especially the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Since high cholesterol problem rarely encounters noticeable symptoms and signs, performing a cholesterol test will be a considerably effective method of assessing the risk of heart disease we might have.
How is cholesterol tested?
A cholesterol test will examine your level of the low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. The test is done through a blood sample screening. A complete cholesterol test which accumulate the four former cholesterol substances requires the patient to do fasting 12 hours before the procedure. Hence, the test is better done in the morning, after an overnight fasting. All foods, alcohol, and smoking are not recommended during fasting period, since these things might elevate the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Patient is only allowed to drink water beforehand.
Who should have cholesterol level checked?
Cholesterol test has a purpose of detecting the risk of cardiovascular initially in order to decrease the chance of sudden heart attack. Hence, people who are exposed to this possibility should have their cholesterol checked. Generally, people with high cholesterol family history and are overweight require a cholesterol check, since these conditions heighten the possibility of higher level of cholesterol in blood. Practically, these two risk factors and some others, such as lifestyle, sugar consumption, and disease complication are used to determine whether or not someone requires a cholesterol test.
In common, some health practitioners and organizations recommend a cholesterol test for:
- Everyone in productive ages of 20 to 79, especially those with less active lifestyle. Everyone who is prone to high cholesterol level is suggested to have their complete lipid profile checked.
- Men ages 35 and above.
- Men below 35 but have the risk of heart attack or have history about it.
- Women above 45, or they who have reached menopause stage.
- Women in their 20 but have the risk of heart diseases.
- Children advised to take the test by a doctor. This will be based on family history of cardiovascular diseases and high cholesterol, age, and conducted physical exam.
- Adults and children who are diabetic.
- Adults—men and women, who smoke heavily.
How often should cholesterol test be performed?
Based on the type of cholesterol check and your risk of cardiovascular diseases, cholesterol test should be made a routine for the disease assessment.
- A thorough cholesterol check includes LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol picturing. Hence, this kind of test might give a complete detail about someone’s risk of having a heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases. This type of cholesterol check is advised to be performed every 4 to 6 years for those in the age of 20 and above, who have not been diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases.
- A thorough cholesterol test or lipid profile should be performed more often—every 2 to 3 years if your chance of having heart attack elevates. This can also be applied for a cholesterol check which only includes total cholesterol and HDL level.
- Adults who are diagnosed with high cholesterol and being treated for it should have their cholesterol level tested more often. Based on the diagnosis and the severity of the illness, one can have their cholesterol level checked every year.
- Adults who have or are prone to coronary diseases should have their cholesterol level checked at least once a year. This should be done also when the symptoms of the disease occur or are felt.
- Adults who have diabetes should be checked at least once a year. People who consume cholesterol-lowering medications also need to be checked once or twice a year. They need to be checked right away after side effects of the medications start to be disturbing.
- Adults and children with severe family history of high cholesterol should be checked every 2 years.
- Women who have reached their menopause stage should be checked every 1 to 2 year, especially if any symptoms of high cholesterol occur.