Harvard Heart Letter

The latest on cholesterol testing

Even though national guidelines on managing cholesterol have shifted away from targeting specific cholesterol levels, tests that measure fats (lipids) in the blood, known as a lipid profile or panel, are still widely used and important. Adults should have a lipid profile done at least every five years. People who have abnormal lipid values or who take cholesterol-lowering medications likely need more frequent tests. The same applies to people with risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of heart disease.
To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »