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Summary of Lipid Profile Test

A lipid profile test, also known as lipid panel, assesses the level of specific fat molecules called lipids in the blood. This test determines the amount of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides.

A high level of lipids in your blood might lead to a buildup in arteries and blood vessels. This can potentially damage the arteries and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

With a lipid profile test, one can determine the risk of heart ailments, heart attack, cardiovascular issues, and stroke.

lipid profile test includes six tests :
1. Total Cholesterol - It checks the overall level of cholesterol - LDL, VLDL and HDL cholesterol - in the blood.

2. HDL Cholesterol - Serum: It assesses HDL cholesterol, also known as the 'good' cholesterol. HDL helps erase the LDL cholesterol from the blood.

3. VLDL Cholesterol - VLDL cholesterol can be the reason for the increased risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. VLDL is not measured directly. Instead, it is calculated by assuming it is 20% of your triglycerides level.

4. Non-HDL Cholesterol - Non-HDL cholesterol is also known as LDL cholesterol or 'bad' cholesterol. Too much LDL can stick to the walls of arteries, which can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.

5. Cholesterol/HDL Ratio - It measures the ratio of cholesterol to HDL and offers insight into the risk of developing coronary heart diseases. If the ratio is higher, the risk is also higher. Having a ratio under 5:1 is desirable, and a ratio of 3.5:1 is considered extremely good.

6. Triglycerides - Serum: The fat that comes from the food you consume is broken down into smaller molecules known as triglycerides. If triglycerides are high, it indicates a risk of developing heart-related diseases. Factors such as obesity, drinking too much alcohol, unmanaged diabetes, and a high-calorie diet contribute to high triglycerides.

The lipid profile test is most commonly referred to as a cholesterol test.

Why should you get the cholesterol test done?
  1. To screen for any kind of heart conditions or diseases
  2. Assessment of ongoing heart treatment

Cholesterol Test :-
High cholesterol usually causes no signs or symptoms. A complete cholesterol test is done to determine whether your cholesterol is high and to estimate your risk of heart attacks and other forms of heart disease and diseases of the blood vessels.

A complete cholesterol test includes the calculation of four types of fats in your blood :- 
  1. Total cholesterol - This is a sum of your blood's cholesterol content.
  2. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol - This is called the "bad" cholesterol. Too much of it in your blood causes the buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) in your arteries (atherosclerosis), which reduces blood flow. These plaques sometimes rupture and can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  3. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol - This is called the "good" cholesterol because it helps carry away LDL cholesterol, thus keeping arteries open and your blood flowing more freely. 
  4. Triglycerides - Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. When you eat, your body converts calories it doesn't need into triglycerides, which are stored in fat cells. High triglyceride levels are associated with several factors, including being overweight, eating too many sweets or drinking too much alcohol, smoking, being sedentary, or having diabetes with elevated blood sugar levels.