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
|LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol
||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 cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol that clears LDL-C cholesterol out of your arteries.
||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
||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.