Lipid Profile

The lipid profile is a group of tests that are often ordered together to determine risk of coronary heart disease. The tests that make up a lipid profile are tests that have been shown to be good indicators of whether someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels (hardening of the arteries).

The lipid profile includes total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol (often called good cholesterol), LDL-cholesterol (often called bad cholesterol), and triglycerides. Sometimes the report will include additional calculated values such as HDL/Cholesterol ratio or a risk score based on lipid profile results, age, sex, and other risk factors.

Treatment is based on your overall risk of coronary heart disease. A target LDL is identified. If your LDL is above the target value, you will be treated. Your target LDL value is:

  • LDL less than 100 mg/dL (2.59 mmol/L) if you have heart disease or diabetes.

  • LDL less than 130 mg/dL (3.37 mmol/L) if you have 2 or more risk factors.

  • LDL less than 160 mg/dL (4.14 mmol/L) if you have 0 or 1 risk factor.

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.