Lipid Profile

What is lipid profile? Have we ever questioned ourselves when the doctor prescribes this test in your prescription? Lipid profile in very simple terms is the way to check any abnormalities in lipids. The amount of triglycerides as well as cholesterol is checked in this panel of blood tests for the doctor to understand of what exactly is going on in your blood. Normally, cholesterol & triglycerides are bad for health and blocks the arteries of the heart making you highly prone to heart strokes and attacks. There are a lot of other ill-effects of high ranging cholesterol in the blood.

Lipid profile helps you keep a good track on the blood cholesterol levels and helps you perfectly in keeping away deadly lifestyle diseases. It is very important to be aware of this particular lipid profile test to keep yourself safe. To know more keep reading below-

The Components of Lipid Profile

As we all know, lipid profile is a series of tests that has many components as a part of the structure. The details are as follows-

  1. Total Cholesterol
  2. LDL (Low density lipoprotein) and HDL (High density lipoprotein)
  3. Triglycerides
  4. VLDL – Very Low density lipoprotein
  5. The Ratio of Cholesterol: HDL

There are 7 Types of Lipid Profile Tests :

  1. Serum total cholesterol
  2. Total lipids
  3. Serum triglycerides
  4. Total cholesterol/HDL and cholesterol ratio
  5. Serum HDL cholesterol
  6. Serum phospholipids
  7. Electrophoretic fractionation to determination %age of

(a) Chylomicrons

(b) LDL(low density lipoprotein)

(c) VLDL(very low density)

(d) HDL(high density)

When to take a Lipid Profile Test?

Any adult who does not have any history of bad cholesterol levels or genetic history in parents/grandparents can get a complete lipid profile done every 4-6 years. A single test of cholesterol can be taken in such a case, and if there is any discrepancy related to the levels of cholesterol, then the entire lipid profile can be tested for.

For any adult who had a history of cholesterol or is genetically more prone to it can get the lipid profile test done once every 6 months- 1 year depending on the signs and symptoms of cholesterol in the body.

Risk Factors that lead to Cholesterol Levels

  1. Smoking Cigarettes
  2. Low HDL Cholesterol
  3. Age (for males- 45 years plus, females-50 years or older)
  4. Hypertension
  5. Diabetes
  6. Family history and genetics of the person

What is the significance of the results?

Normally, lipid profile checks how healthy the heart of a person is and how prone he/she is to heart diseases and strokes. The practitioner will overall check all the factors of the results and give a verdict on how prone the patient is to heart problems and whether any form of treatment is required or not. This treatment is to lower the risk of the person to heart strokes and attacks.

The National Cholesterol Education Program in 2002 had laid down the guidelines based on which the results can be measured. They also gave guidelines on the treatment procedure.

However. Things have changed and so have the cholesterol-lowering therapies that prove to be effective. An evidence based risk calculator is used to identify such people who are highly prone to the cholesterol issues looking into all their environmental factors and by seeing how well they will benefit from these therapies. The age group for this system is 40-79 years.

The factors considered for this therapy includes age, blood pressure, HDL, gender, total cholesterol, habits of smoking, diabetes etc. This finally determines the Lipid-lowering drug therapy to be given.

The Threshold of the Lipid Profile Test

LDL Cholesterol
Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL (2.59 mmol/L); for those with known disease (ASCVD or diabetes), less than 70 mg/dL (1.81 mmol/L) is optimal
above or Near optimal: 100-129 mg/dL (2.59-3.34 mmol/L)
Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL (3.37-4.12 mmol/L)
High: 160-189 mg/dL (4.15-4.90 mmol/L)
Very high: Greater than 190 mg/dL (4.90 mmol/L)

Total Cholesterol
Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL (5.18 mmol/L)
Borderline high: 200-239 mg/dL (5.18 to 6.18 mmol/L)
High: 240 mg/dL (6.22 mmol/L) or higher

HDL Cholesterol
Low level, increased risk: Less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) for men and less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) for women
Average level, average risk: 40-50 mg/dL (1.0-1.3 mmol/L) for men and between 50-59 mg/dl (1.3-1.5 mmol/L) for women
High level, less than average risk: 60 mg/dL (1.55 mmol/L) or higher for both men and women

Fasting Triglycerides
Desirable: Less than 150 mg/dL (1.70 mmol/L)
Borderline high: 150-199 mg/dL(1.7-2.2 mmol/L)
High: 200-499 mg/dL (2.3-5.6 mmol/L)
Very high: Greater than 500 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L)

Non-HDL Cholesterol
Optimal: Less than 130 mg/dL (3.37 mmol/L)
Near/above optimal: 130-159 mg/dL (3.37-4.12mmol/L)
Borderline high: 160-189 mg/dL (4.15-4.90 mmol/L)
High: 190-219 mg/dL (4.9-5.7 mmol/L)
Very high: Greater than 220 mg/dL (5.7 mmol/L)

What else should be known about lipid profile?

Normally, the lipid profile tests are done in fasting conditions. However, there are various researches going on where the professionals want to take samples of the non-fasting nature to get the correct measure of triglycerides in the blood.

Collection Details of Lipid Profile

  • Patient preparation – Fasting specimen
  • Specimen – Blood
  • Collection method – Routine venipuncture
  • Storage/transport temperature – Refrigerated
  • Stability (after separation) – Ambient: 72 h; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: 3 months