The LIPID panel, also known as LP or lipid profile, is a blood test that measures levels of various lipids (fats) in the blood. The test typically includes measurements of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Total cholesterol measures the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, including both LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it can build up on the walls of arteries, leading to blockages and an increased risk of heart disease. HDL cholesterol is often referred to as “good” cholesterol because it helps remove excess cholesterol from the blood and can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Triglycerides are a type of fat that are typically stored in fat cells and can also contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
The LIPID panel is commonly used to assess a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. High levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, while low levels of LDL cholesterol and high levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with a lower risk.
The LIPID panel is typically ordered by a healthcare provider as part of a routine physical exam or if a person has risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease. The results of the test can be used to guide treatment decisions, such as lifestyle changes and medications, to help reduce a person’s risk of heart disease.
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