What is this test?
Lipid profile test is a set of tests used to measure the amount of cholesterol and other types of fats present in your blood. This test is helpful in assessing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
What is the importance of lipids?
Lipids are a bunch of fats and fat-like substances which are very useful constituents of the cells in our body. They are also an important source of energy. Cholesterol and triglycerides are the two important lipids. Cholesterol and triglycerides are transported are circulated into the blood through lipoprotein particles. Each lipoprotein particle is a combination of cholesterol, phospholipids, triglycerides and protein molecules.
Types of lipoproteins?
They are classified based on their density into three types. They are: HDL (High-density lipoproteins) LDL (Low-density lipoproteins) VLDL (Very low-density lipoproteins) Total cholesterol Triglycerides High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are considered as good cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is considered as bad cholesterol. High-density cholesterol carries cholesterol to the liver from various parts of your body. Liver functions by eliminating the cholesterol out of the body. HDL helps in moving the cholesterol away from your arteries. The increased amount of HDL helps in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. LDL gets attached to the walls of arteries and clogs them. This leads to a condition called atherosclerosis. Total cholesterol is the sum of both HDL and LDL. With the help of total cholesterol and HDL the values, total cholesterol-to-HDL ratio can be derived with which coronary heart disease and stroke can be diagnosed.
Why this test is performed?
The lipid profile test is done to know whether an individual is having normal or abnormal cholesterol levels in the body. The doctor may ask to perform this test if an individual is suffering from conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and have heart disease or with a family history of heart disease, have a heart attack. This test is also done to determine the risk of developing heart disease. If an individual is on the treatment of anti-cholesterol medications like statins, then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment and cholesterol levels in the body. This helps the doctor to rule out the patient disease condition. Generally, when a patient is diagnosed with atherosclerosis or hypercholesterolemia visits hospital for a general check-up, the doctor may ask to undergo the lipid profile test which gives a better status of the condition. Mostly, this test is done along with other tests like an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization.