Lipoprotein Particle Check
50% of people who develop cardiac disease have ‘normal’ cholesterol. A traditional LDL blood test doesn't measure small dense LDL particles, which can hide behind normal cholesterol and increase the risk of heart attack.

Know your real risk of heart attack

Lipid subfraction testing provides detailed information about the types and amounts of lipids (fats) present in the blood. This test measures the different subfractions of lipids, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL).

Lipid subfraction testing is more comprehensive than standard lipid tests which only measure total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. By analysing the different subfractions of lipids, practitioners can get a more complete picture of a person's lipid profile and may better understand their risk for cardiovascular disease.


Researchers think that an increased number of small dense LDL particles could be one of the reasons that some people have heart attacks even though their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are not particularly high. The number of small dense LDL particles you have is determined by a combination of your genetics, your gender, and your lifestyle. Certain diseases and conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure are also associated with increased levels of small dense LDL particles. Check out our blog for more information.

What we test
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 blood test measures:
IDL is a transitional lipoprotein that is eventually converted to LDL. Elevated levels of IDL in the blood can contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, just like LDL.
Large LDL
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) can be categorised into subfractions, which range from LDL-1 through to LDL-7 based on their size and density. Among these subfractions, LDL-1 and LDL-2 are thought to be less atherogenic than LDL-3 to LDL-7, meaning they may have a lower tendency to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. This is due to the fact that LDL-1 and LDL-2 are larger and more buoyant than LDL-3 to LDL-7, which reduces their likelihood of penetrating the arterial wall and contributing to plaque formation.
Lipid Subfractions Summary
Small Dense LDL
Research indicates that higher quantities of smaller, denser LDL3-7 particles are linked to inflammation and pose a greater risk of causing atherosclerosis compared to fewer, larger and more buoyant LDL1-2 particles. LDL3-7 particles are smaller and denser, and are more likely to permeate the arterial wall and participate in the formation of plaque.
Lipoprotein (a) - Lp(a)
High levels of Lp(a) increase your risk of atherosclerosis and is an inherited genetic condition. The apo B/apo A-I ratio indicates the cholesterol balance between potentially atherogenic (bad) and anti-atherogenic (good) particles.
Test instructions
You’ll receive your blood test kit in the mail, along with logistics for your sample collection.
Print out the pathology form that we email you.
Book a collection for a venous blood draw AND centrifuge using a phlebotomy service. Contact Bloodservices@mail.com for options in your location. Please note there is an additional cost associated payable directly to the service. Please only book Mon and bring your prepaid packaging to post the sample directly after.
Fast from all food and drink other than water for at least 8 hours, and no more than 12 hours prior to your test.
Mail your sample back to the lab using the prepaid envelope and packaging.
calendar-instructions instruction-kit
Results for this test available in 3 weeks and will be published in your online dashboard.
Ready. Set. Go!
for £192
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