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
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.