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Where Can I Obtain a Cholesterol Test?

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Updated August 31, 2013

There are many places you can go to get your cholesterol checked, ranging from your healthcare provider’s office to the comforts of your own home. In some cases, you can even have your cholesterol tested for free. Getting your cholesterol tested is an important step you can take towards preventing heart disease. In fact, the National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that anyone over the age of 20 should at least get their cholesterol checked at least once every five years. With the many options you have, there is no excuse for not getting your cholesterol checked!

1. In Your Healthcare Provider’s Office

The most common place a cholesterol test is performed in is your healthcare provider's office. Your healthcare provider can administer a blood cholesterol test that can test total cholesterol, VLDL, LDL, HDL, triglycerides and, sometimes, apolipoproteins. These tests are mostly accurate – especially if you have made the proper preparations before having your cholesterol test. Most healthcare providers will usually perform a cholesterol test at your annual physical examination.

2. At a Health Fair

Health fairs are also an excellent way to have your cholesterol checked, and in most cases, these tests are free. Although they are helpful in detecting high cholesterol, some of these tests may not be as accurate. This is usually due to the fact that you may not be as likely to abstain from food before taking a test. Additionally, these cholesterol tests may only test for total cholesterol levels, not giving you a complete picture of your lipid profile. In any case, these tests can give you some insight as to whether or not you have high cholesterol. When in doubt, or if your cholesterol was found to be high at a health fair cholesterol test, always follow up with a test at your healthcare provider’s office.

3. At Home

Home cholesterol tests allow you to have your cholesterol tested in the comforts of your own home. They are available online and at most pharmacies, and range widely in cost. There are a variety of home cholesterol tests available, ranging from tests that can check for just total cholesterol to those that can determine HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. Although they are mostly accurate, they may be prone to errors if the directions are not followed properly.
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