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A lipid panel is a blood test that
lipids—fats and fatty substances used as a source of
energy by your body. Lipids include
high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and
low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
Other measurements that may be done for a lipid panel
Lipids are found in your blood and are stored in tissues.
They are an important part of cells, and they help keep your body working
Lipid disorders, such as high cholesterol, may lead to
life-threatening illnesses, such as
coronary artery disease (CAD),
heart attack, or
Your doctor may order a lipid
panel as part of a regular health examination. Your doctor may use the results
of this test to prevent, check on, or diagnose a medical condition.
Follow your doctor's instructions on how to prepare for this test. If your doctor tells you to fast before your test, do not eat or
drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before having your blood drawn.
Usually, you are allowed to take your medicines with water the morning of the
test. Fasting is not always necessary, but it may be recommended. Do not eat high-fat foods the night before the test. Do not drink alcohol or exercise strenuously before the
If your doctor
finds a lipid disorder, treatment may be started to help lower your blood lipid
levels. Your treatment could include medicines, diet changes, weight loss, and
To learn more, see the topic
Cholesterol and Triglyceride Tests.
Visit the American Heart Association (AHA) website for information on
physical activity, diet, and various heart-related conditions. You can search for information on heart disease and stroke, share information with friends and family, and use tools to help you make heart-healthy goals and plans. Contact the AHA to find your
nearest local or state AHA group. The AHA provides brochures and information
about support groups and community programs, including Mended Hearts, a
nationwide organization whose members visit people with heart problems and
provide information and support.
CardioSmart is an online education and support program that can be your partner in heart health. This website engages, informs, and empowers people to take part in their own care and to work well with their health care teams. It has tools and resources to help you prevent, treat, and/or manage heart diseases.
You can set health and wellness goals and track your progress with online tools. You can track your weight, waist measurement, blood pressure, and activity. You can use calculators to help you find your body mass index (BMI) and check your risk for heart problems. You can search for a cardiologist. And you can find medicine information and prepare for your next appointment. Also, you can join online communities to connect with peers and take heart-healthy challenges.
CardioSmart was designed by cardiovascular professionals at the American College of Cardiology, a nonprofit medical society. Members include doctors, nurses, and surgeons.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
(NHLBI) information center offers information and publications about preventing
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2013). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 6th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Grundy S, et al. (2002). Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) (NIH Publication No. 02–5215). Bethesda, MD: National
Institutes of Health. Also available online:
Grundy SM, et al. (2004). Implications of recent
clinical trials of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment
Panel III Guidelines. Circulation, 110(2): 227–239.
[Erratum in Circulation, 110(6): 763.]
July 12, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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