HDL CHOLESTEROL TEST
What are the other names for this test?
HDL Test, High-density lipoprotein cholesterol test, HDL-C test, Good Cholesterol test, High-density lipoprotein test
What is an HDL Cholesterol test?
An HDL cholesterol test helps to observe HDL levels in your blood. HDL (High-density Lipoprotein) is a type of lipoprotein present in your body. HDL consists of a combination of lipids and fats. Lipids combine with proteins for their flow into the blood. Low HDL levels may indicate health problems such as heart disease.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance like fat present in all your body cells. Your liver develops cholesterol in your body. You get cholesterol from foods like meat and dairy products. Some healthy cholesterol is needed for different body functions. HDL is good cholesterol, which helps to move cholesterol from parts of your body to your liver. Your liver helps to eliminate cholesterol from your body. HDL cholesterol provides maintenance of the inner walls of the blood vessel. Atherosclerosis is a condition that narrows your arteries developed by the deposition of cholesterol in your arteries. It leads to heart attacks and strokes. HDL cholesterol helps to clean the inner walls and make them healthy.
What is the purpose of this test?
An HDL cholesterol test diagnoses cardiovascular health problems such as developing a risk for heart disease. HDL-C test also helps screen and monitor specific problems that may affect your heart, blood vessels, and blood supply to your body. HDL cholesterol test is often conducted with total cholesterol test
, and these two are included in lipid panel test
When do I need to take this test?
A healthcare provider recommends the HDL cholesterol test to every age group. The following are the considerations for this test:
People aged 19 or below
People aged 20 or above
- The initial test should be conducted at ages starting from 9 to 11.
- Children need to take this test every five years.
- Some children may need this test at age two if they have a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke.
- You should take this test every five years if you are a young adult.
- Men and women ages 45 to 65 and 55 to 65, respectively, should take this test every one to two years.
Your provider may also suggest this test by observing your age, risk factors, and family history. You can take an HDL cholesterol test
at a discounted price.
What is the procedure for this test?
An HDL cholesterol test
often performs with a blood sample. A healthcare provider may collect blood samples from your vein.
The following are the steps for collecting blood samples from your vein after visiting the laboratory.
- Sit in front of your provider. Be relaxed and stay in a fixed position. It is difficult for your provider to collect a blood sample if you do the muscle movement.
- Remove the portion of your cloth from the arm and elastic band tie on your upper arm.
- A small needle will inject into a vein in your arm.
- A small amount of blood will collect in a test tube.
- Blood samples will store in the laboratory for examination of an allergy.
- You can go home for regular activities.
- This test usually takes five minutes.
How do I need to prepare for this test?
An HDL Cholesterol test
does not require special preparation. You can inform your provider about the medicines or supplements you are using. Your provider will instruct you when to stop or take your medications. You can eat or drink before the test. You may need to fast for several hours if your provider asks for an additional blood test.
Are there any risks involved in this test?
An HDL Cholesterol test
does not have high risks when you give a blood sample. Veins differ from person to person. Some people or children may have difficulty providing a blood sample compared to others. You may experience low risks when the needle injects into your vein. These risks include
- Extreme Bleeding
- Slight pain
- Hematoma (Deposition of blood under the skin)
What do the test results indicate?
HDL cholesterol test
results depend on many factors, such as age, gender, and medical history. The test results may also slightly differ among laboratories. It is because each lab may use different methods for examination.
High HDL cholesterol levels may decrease your chance of heart stroke and coronary artery disease. The measurement unit of HDL cholesterol is a milligram per deciliter (mg/dL). The recommended range of healthy HDL cholesterol levels are:
- Above 45 mg/dL to age 19 or younger
- Above 40 mg/dL to men aged 20 or above
- Above 50 mg/dL to women aged 20 or above
Low HDL levels may develop due to the following conditions:
- Being overweight
- Poor diet
- Lack of physical exercise
- High blood glucose levels
Few cholesterol medicines may increase HDL levels, such as statins if you use them to decrease your LDL level. You do not require any medication or supplement to increase HDL levels. You may need medication if you experience low HDL and high LDL levels.
How can I increase my HDL cholesterol levels?
You may increase your HDL levels by applying these steps in your daily lifestyle, including:
- Taking a healthy diet - You can eat healthy saturated fats rather than bad trans fats. The saturated fats include cheese, high-fat meats, full-fat milk, and things made from butter. You can avoid trans fats such as fried and processed foods.
- Maintain a healthy weight - Reduce your weight if you have a high deposition of fats in your belly and waist.
- Do physical activity daily - At least 30 minutes of exercise each day will increase your HDL levels and decrease your LDL levels.
- Decrease your alcohol consumption - You can avoid the use of alcohol to increase your HDL levels.
- Quit smoking - Avoiding smoking will boost your HDL levels.
You can get more ways to increase your HDL cholesterol levels by e-consultation
with a provider.
What factors may affect the test results?
Diabetes may also decrease your HDL levels. Some medicines may reduce HDL levels in a few people, including:
- Progestin - Females hormones present in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy
- Benzodiazepines - It is used to eliminate insomnia and stress.
- Beta-blockers - A blood pressure medicine
- Anabolic steroids present in testosterone (a male hormone)
You can ask your provider about the continuation of these medications if you are using any of these and experiencing low HDL levels.
What additional tests do I need along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may recommend the following test along with the HDL cholesterol test:
Total Cholesterol test:
This test determines HDL and LDL amounts in the blood.
LDL Cholesterol test:
This test helps to measure LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in your blood.