LDL cholesterol is one of the lipoproteins that transports the cholesterol in your body. Cholesterol is waxy substance and a fat type in your body. Cholesterol is necessary for metabolic acitivities like vitamin D, bile acid or hormone production. Cholesterol needs 2 lipoproteins to travel in your body.
HDL cholesterol is high density lipoprotein and called good cholesterol because it transports the excess cholesterol from tissues to liver and liver removes excess cholesterol. This process is called reverse transport of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is called good cholesterol because it helps liver to reduce your total cholesterol level by reverse transport of cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is low density lipoprotein and transports the cholesterol from liver to the tissues. High LDL level is related with cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke so LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol blood test
LDL cholesterol blood test is a type of laboratory test that is done to measure your LDL – good cholesterol level. LDL blood test may be done alone but doctors commonly request lipid profile test to determine your general cholesterol and lipid level and reduce heart attack risk. Lipid profile test contains 4 type of cholesterol and lipid tests;
- Total cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol- bad cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol- good cholesterol
- Triglycerides another fat type in your body
LDL cholesterol blood test preparation
You need to fast before LDL cholesterol or lipid profile blood test. You should not eat or drink anything for 10-12 hours except water before LDL cholesterol test. Please inform your doctor about the medicines you are currently using. Your doctor may ask you to stop or continue taking your medicines.
How the LDL cholesterol blood test is done?
- You will need to give a tube of blood sample for LDL blood test
- Nurse/technician cleans the skin area with an antiseptic
- He/she ties an elastic band around your arm to see the veins easily
- A needle is inserted in a vein inside your elbow or on the back of your hand
- A little amount of blood sample is collected in the test tube
- Elastic band and than needle is removed
- Nurse/technician put a piece of cotton on the puncture area to stop bleeding
- You should hold or press gently on the cotton for 5-10 minutes to prevent bleeding
- All process takes 2-3 minutes
- You may feel a little pain during blood collection
LDL cholesterol reference ranges
- Normal: < 130 mg/dL
- Borderline: 130-159 mg/dL
- High: > 160 mg/dL
If your LDL bad cholesterol level is higher than normal you may be at the higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attack or stroke. Your doctor may give you medication or request diet and life style changes like exercises according to your results.