An HDL Blood Test can tell you about the levels of the good cholesterol or High-density lipoproteins in your blood. It is important to know your cholesterol levels for measuring your heart health.
HDL or High-density lipoprotein is also called good cholesterol. It actually helps in the removal of other bad cholesterol from your blood. If you have higher levels of HDL in your bloodstream you are considered to have a lower risk of heart disease.
The ideal HDL levels for both men and women is 60 mg/dL or above.
A level of 40 mg/dL or less for men and 50 mg/dL or less for women indicates a higher risk factor for heart disease.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is useful for building cells in your body and is carried through your body by attaching to proteins called lipoproteins. While low-density lipoproteins (LDL) can build up and block your blood vessels, high-density lipoproteins pick up the excess cholesterol in your bloodstream and clears it away to your liver to be broken down and removed from the body.
Why should you do an HDL Blood Test?
An HDL blood test will help you determine your risk for developing heart disease. Knowing your cholesterol numbers can help you make the proper lifestyle changes for your health in good time.
HDL has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, protecting against hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) as well as diabetes.
On the other hand, low HDL can be associated with a higher risk of inflammatory disorders such as malignancy, diabetes and other diseases.
Who should take an HDL Blood Test?
You may want to do an HDL Blood Test as part of your general health screening. The Lab.Me Crucial, Baseline, Executive and Women’s and Men’s Health Tests all include an HDL test as well as an HDL as total percentage of cholesterol test.
If you have identified risk factors for heart disease (click to read how to predict your risk of heart attack over the next 10 years) or if previous tests have shown low levels of HDL, regular HDL blood tests or as part of frequent lipid panel tests, can help you monitor your health and treatment progress.
Some of the lifestyle factors that put your more at risk for heart disease are:
- Being overweight
- Poor diet
- A sedentary or inactive lifestyle
- Older than 45 for men and older than 55 for women
- High blood pressure
- Family history of heart disease
- Existing heart disease or previous heart attack
- Diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes
An at-home blood test is one of the most convenient ways to ensure you keep track of your cholesterol numbers and also for monitoring whether any current treatment is working to lower your LDL and increase your HDL levels.
The results of your lipid panels and cholesterol tests can help you develop a treatment plan that may involve lifestyle changes or medications. Always consult your doctor before embarking on any treatment plan.
The executive tests also include cortisol which can also determine your risk of heart issues. Read more about why and how to fix it.
Results are available online in 2-3 days after the lab receives your test.