Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is similar to fat. There are different types of cholesterol including:
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
Cholesterol tests measure the levels of cholesterol in the blood. They can measure the amount of HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and your total cholesterol levels. Your doctor may use a test called the lipid profile test. This test measures the cholesterol levels plus triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat or lipid in the blood.
This test is done to measure the levels of cholesterol in the blood. Abnormal levels of cholesterol are linked to an increased risk of plaque formation in blood vessels. This plaque formation can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Your doctor will use these results to estimate your risk of heart disease. For example:
- High LDL levels increase the risk of heart disease.
- Low HDL levels increase the risk of heart disease.
Plaque Formation in Blood Vessel—Side Effect of High LDL Cholesterol
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedMarch 2014by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.