A cholesterol test, also called a lipid profile, is a simple blood test that measures more than just the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. The table below shows what is measured:
Items measured in a cholesterol test
|What is measured||Also known as||Description|
|LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol||LDL-C||LDL-C cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol that clogs your arteries and increases the risk of developing heart disease.|
|HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol||HDL-C||HDL-C cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol that clears LDL-C cholesterol out of your arteries.|
|TG (triglycerides)||—||TG are a non-cholesterol type of fat. TG increase the risk of developing heart disease. TG can also lower the levels of HDL cholesterol.|
|TC (total cholesterol)||—||TC is a measure of the total amount of LDL-C cholesterol, HDL-C cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol.|
|Total cholesterol/ HDL-C ratio||TC:HDL-C ratio||This is the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL-C cholesterol. It is a number calculated by dividing the total cholesterol by HDL-C cholesterol (TC ÷ HDL-C).|
For more information on LDL-C, HDL-C, TG, and TC, see "Good" and "bad" cholesterol... what does it all mean?
Ask your doctor whether you should have your cholesterol tested.