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Cholesterol is a substance that is similar to fat. Cells need cholesterol. There are many types of cholesterol. When there is too much or too little of one type, problems can develop.
Cholesterol tests measure the levels of cholesterol in the blood. Different components of cholesterol can be measured:
- Total cholesterol
- HDL-cholesterol —the "good" cholesterol
- LDL-cholesterol —the "bad" cholesterol
- Lipoprotein profile—measures all the above
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The levels of cholesterol in your blood play an important role in determining your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. For example:
- High LDL levels increase the risk of CVD.
- Low HDL levels increase the risk of CVD.
- High triglyceride levels increase the risk of CVD.
Call Your Doctor
After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- You have severe bruising or swelling.
- You do not get your results within a few weeks.
In case of an emergency, call 911.