DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
A complete cholesterol test — also called a lipid panel or lipid profile — is a blood test that can measure the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. A cholesterol test can help determine your risk of the buildup of plaques in your arteries that can lead to narrowed or blocked arteries throughout your body (atherosclerosis). High cholesterol levels usually don't cause any signs or symptoms, so a cholesterol test is an important tool. High cholesterol levels often are a significant risk factor for heart disease.
- Executive summary. Third report of the expert panel on the detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (adult treatment panel III). Bethesda, Md.: National Heart, Lung, and blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol. Accessed Nov. 6, 2012.
- What is cholesterol? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc/. Accessed Nov. 8, 2012.
- What are blood tests? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bdt/. Accessed Nov. 8, 2012.
- What your cholesterol levels mean. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/What-Your-Cholesterol-Levels-Mean_UCM_305562_Article.jsp. Accessed Nov. 8, 2012.
- Ask Mayo Expert. Screening recommendations for asymptomatic men. Rochester, Minn. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2010.
- Cholesterol. American Association for Clinical Chemistry. http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cholesterol/test.html. Accessed Nov. 6, 2012.
- Expert panel on integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: Summary report. Pediatrics. 2011;128:S213.
- Women and cholesterol. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/UnderstandYourRiskforHighCholesterol/Women-and-Cholesterol_UCM_305565_Article.jsp. Accessed Nov. 8, 2012.
- Behrenbeck T (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 3, 2012.