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Manage your risk of heart disease

Cholesterol plays a vital role in every cell in the body and is also to make hormones that are essential for development, growth and reproduction. Cholesterol also forms bile acids that are needed to absorb nutrients from food. A cholesterol test measures the cholesterol that circulates in the blood in particles called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins include HDL ‘good’ particles that carry excess cholesterol away for disposal, and LDL ‘bad’ particles that deposit cholesterol in tissues and organs.

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Your body produces the cholesterol needed to work properly, but the source for some cholesterol is your diet. If you have a family history of high cholesterol or regularly eat foods high in cholesterol, then your levels can increase. This extra cholesterol in your blood can be deposited in plaques on the walls of blood vessels which can narrow or block them and lead to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). This increases your risk of health problems including heart disease and stroke. We've designed this simple cholesterol test to help you manage your risk.

What we test

Cholesterol

Lipids and cholesterol are fat-like substances in your blood. Some are necessary for good health, but when you have a high level of cholesterol in your blood, a lot of it ends up being deposited in the walls of your arteries and other vital organs. Lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and alcohol intake can all influence cholesterol levels and your risk of developing heart disease.

This cholesterol test measures:

High total cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called ‘bad cholesterol’ because it contributes to plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries and make them less flexible.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called ‘good cholesterol’ and is protective against atherosclerosis.

The main storage form of fatty acids in the body. Elevated triglyceride levels may contribute to hardening of the arteries, and increase the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Non-HDL cholesterol is considered an effective lipid measurement for assessing cardiovascular disease risk as it is believed to reflect levels of 'bad' cholesterol. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, age, gender, ethnicity and family history.

Test instructions

Your finger prick test kit and all instructions are posted directly to you, and there is no need to visit a collection centre.

The best time to do this test is first thing in the morning.

Fast from all food and drink other than water for at least 8 hours, and no more than 12 hours prior to your test.

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