In today’s blog, we will discuss when you should get tested for high cholesterol and how often, how the test is done, and why it’s important.
Who Should Get Tested and How Often
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Children should have the first test between the ages of 9 and 11
- The test should be repeated between the ages of 17 and 21
- For some children with a family history of high cholesterol, the first test should be done after age 2 and before age 10.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA):
- People who are 20 years or older should have the test every 4 to 6 years
- After age 40, your doctor may also calculate your 10-year risk for heart disease and stroke
- Depending on the results of your 10-year risk test, you may need to do the test more often
How the Test is Done
The test is done by taking a small blood sample and analyzing it in the lab.
For adults 20 years or older, the test requires you to fast for 8 to 12 hours before the test. (This may be different for children).
Importance of Getting Tested
Since high cholesterol has no symptoms, it could go unnoticed until you have a life-threatening complication like a heart attack or stroke.
Therefore, it is very important to go get your cholesterol checked before it’s too late.
Related: Cholesterol 101
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