Test Details


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Cholesterol Total, Serum

Number of parameters covered 1

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Synonyms/Also Known as

Blood Cholesterol

Related tests

HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Lipid Profile, Cardiac Risk Assessment

Why get tested?

To assess the risk of developing a heart disease and to monitor its treatment.

When to get tested?

As a screening test when no risk factors are present and to monitoring at regular intervals when risk factors are present. When high risk levels are present in the prior results and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

Sample required


Test preparation needed

It is recommended that the person fasting for at least 10-12 hours before the test. Person is advised not to eat or drink anything except water prior to the test

About The Test

How is it used
The lipid profile is used to assess the risk of developing a heart disease and to monitor its treatment. Lipids are fats and fat-like substances which are important constituents of cells and are rich sources of energy. It is necessary to monitor and maintain healthy levels of these lipids to stay healthy. The results of the lipid profile are evaluated along with other known risk factors associated with heart disease to plan and monitor treatment. Treatment options like lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise or lipid-lowering medications such as statins may be considered depending on the values of the lipid profile. A lipid profile typically includes total cholesterol, high density lipoproteins (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), chylomicrons, triglycerides, very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), Cholesterol/HDL ratio . The test for total cholesterol is used alone or in combination with other tests of lipid profile to predict the risk of developing a heart disease and to monitor its treatment. High blood cholesterol is associated with heart disease, atherosclerosis and/or increased risk of death due to heart attacks. Hence total cholesterol testing is considered as a routine screening test. Total cholesterol test results, other parameters of lipid profile and risk factors of heart disease are important to plan treatment and follow-up.


1. What is the plan of treatment if lipid levels are unhealthy?

Lifestyle modifications are necessary to maintain healthy lipid levels. A diet low in saturated fat and trans unsaturated fats, avoiding smoking, controlling hypertension and diabetes, and moderate exercise. Drug therapy may be initiated on the basis of the results of the lipid profile.

2. What causes high cholesterol?

High cholesterol may be due to an inherited disease or due to a diet high in saturated fats.

3. If a person has high cholesterol levels what is his risk of a heart attack?

High cholesterol levels will increase the risk of heart attack. The levels of cholesterol is directly proportional to the risk of heart attack. Other factors such as smoking, diabetes, age, and hypertension also contribute.

4. What is biological variation of cholesterol?

Cholesterol levels may differ from one month to another without any change in the diet or exercise. These changes are called biological variation which are inherent in human metabolism.

5. Is lipid profile necessary in a person with total cholesterol levels less than 200 mg/dL on screening?

If the total cholesterol is below 200 mg/dl and there is no family history of heart disease or other risk factors, a complete lipid profile is not required. However, an HDL cholesterol test is important to ruleout low HDL.