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How To Prepare For A Cholesterol Test


Updated May 27, 2014

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Cholesterol is a modifiable risk factor for heart disease, and a blood cholesterol test is used to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. While it is important to get your cholesterol checked, it is also easy to prepare for the test, too. In order to get an accurate reading, you must fast for at least 8 to 12 hours before the test:
  • This includes not eating anything during this time.
  • You may drink water. However, coffee, tea or colas may interfere with the test and should be avoided.
If you cannot refrain from eating for at least 8 to 12 hours before your test, schedule your test in the morning so that you are sleeping during the time you are supposed to be fasting. Let your healthcare provider know what medications you are taking. Some medications may affect your cholesterol, so your doctor may decide that you need to temporarily stop taking those before you take your test.


Dipiro JT, Talbert RL. Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiological Approach, 6th ed 2005.

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