Lipid Profile Test - Why & Who Should Get It And What Are Normal Values?

Lipid Profile Test - Why & Who Should Get It And What Are Normal Values?

Medical experts call a Lipid Profile Test as a lipid panel, a complete cholesterol test, and lipid profile. Basically, it is a type of blood test to measure the amount of triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood. With this, your doctor can decide the risk of the development of plaques in your arteries. 

Due to this buildup, the arteries throughout your body have narrowness and blockages. This test is crucial for you and can help you know high cholesterol levels earlier. And you can take the requisite action to safeguard yourself against coronary artery diseases. Here, have a look at each aspect of a lipid panel test:

What are lipids?

Lipids are fatty cells or substances that are present in your body tissues and circulate your bloodstream. As being the critical part of your body, they produce energy for the activities you do daily. Further, they facilitate the neurological system of your body to function well. Any irregularities, imbalances, or disorders in the lipids may make you prone to several severe health issues like strokes, heart attacks, and peripheral artery diseases. 

What is a lipid panel test?

A lipid profile test is a group of tests that pathologists conduct to measure the amount of fatty substances and cholesterol in your bloodstream. Even being helpful to your body, a high or low level of these substances is highly harmful to you. It can make you have inflamed arteries and heart problems. This test measures these: 

  • HDL ("good") cholesterol

  • LDL ("bad") cholesterol

  • Total cholesterol

  • Triglycerides

Why should you get a lipid profile test?

You should have this lipid panel test once a year if you are over the age of 20 years. If you (men and women) are over 45 and 50, you must get this checkup two times a year. You should get this test done as per your doctor’s instructions if you are suffering from heart or coronary issues or had abnormal readings in earlier lipid profile tests.   

As mentioned above, this test measures the levels of good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides. The test results help your doctor determine or estimate the probability of several health issues, including heat attacks, strokes, and coronary blockage. You should get a lipid profile test if you:

  • Are an obese or overweight 

  • Have heart problems 

  • Are at a higher risk of diabetes or suffering from it 

  • Live a highly comfortable life 

  • Are suffering from severe hypertension 

  • Take junk foods and unhealthy diets 

  • Smoke or drink 

  • A family background of dyslipidemia or heart diseases  

When should you go for a lipid profile test?

You must have a lipid panel test if you: 

  • Feel pain in your left arm 

  • Experience vomiting, nausea, or discomfort in your upper abdomen 

  • Have sneezing sensation or chest pain 

  • Experience breath shortness 

  • Feel headache, jaw pain, or toothache 

  • Have excessive sweating  

  • Notice frequent hypertension bouts 

  • Have heartburn or indigestion 

Should a child get this test?

A child below the age of 12 years should follow what a paediatrician instructs. The expert can recommend a cholesterol screening to a child between the age of 9 and 11 years. Further, the doctor can recommend its repentance after 5 and 8 years of the first one. The child with a family history of heart/coronary issues or excess body weight should get this test. 


What does a lipid profile test consist of?

A lipid profile test is a group of blood tests to measure the levels of different substances in a human body. It usually consists of:

  • Cholesterol 

  • LDL-C (Low-density lipoprotein)

  • HDL-C (High-density lipoprotein)  

  • VLDL 

  • Triglycerides

  • Cholesterol / HDL Ratio

What are normal values of a lipid panel test?  

Pathologists measure the levels of different substances in milligrams per decilitre of blood - mg/dl. The normal values of a lipid profile test are as follows:

  • Total cholesterol: Below 200 mg/dL.

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: Above 60 mg/dL.

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: Below 100 mg/dL (For people who have diabetes: Below 70 mg/dL).

  • Triglycerides: Below 150 mg/dL.

How should you prepare for the lipid profile test?

Your doctor or pathologist can ask you to come with an empty stomach. Except for drinking water, you have recommendations not to eat or drink anything for 9 to 12 hours.  

What can you expect?

As already mentioned, a lipid panel test is a blood test. So, a pathologist will insert a disposable syringe with a needle in your arm vein to take out blood as a sample. Before the needle insertion, the expert will clean your arm area with antiseptic and wrap a band around your upper arm. After the collection a small amount of the blood from your arm vein, the expert removes the needle and unwraps the band. The pathologist transfers the collected blood into a vial. This process takes only a few minutes. 

After the procedure, you can come back to your home. And you do not need to take any precautions. You can do all your activities as you did earlier. Further, you can take your meal.  

Are there any risks after a lipid panel test?

No, there are no mild to severe health risks. However, you can experience a little tenderness around the site of the blood extraction. You can get rid of it within 1-2 days. 

What should you do if your lipid profile test results are abnormal?

You should produce your test results to your doctor and discuss what you should do and what options are for you. Your doctor will produce some recommendations that are as follows:

  • Keep monitoring your lipid profile

  • Make some changes in your lifestyle such as no drinking, no smoking, and inclusion of workouts in your daily activities 

  • Take prescribed medicines to lower your cholesterol levels and allied symptoms 


A lipid profile test is crucial for health conscious persons or the one with a higher risk of heart/coronary diseases. Having an idea when and why you should get it, what the normal values of this test, how to prepare for it, associated risks, and what you should do after having abnormal test results is really helpful for you.     

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