LDL Cholesterol Test

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Also known as: LDL; LDL-C; LDLc; 'bad' cholesterol
Formal name: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol

Note - in the UK, measurement of 'non-HDL' cholesterol is now preferred to LDL-cholesterol. Therefore, this page is not being regularly updated.

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To determine your chances of developing cardiovascular disease

When to Get Tested?

Aged 40 as part of a routine cardiovascular health check, or if you are already thought to be at risk of cardiovascular disease for another reason, or to monitor your response to treatments which lower LDL cholesterol (LDL-C).

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in the arm, or occasionally from a fingerprick

Test Preparation Needed?

Laboratory tests for LDL-C typically require a 12 hour fast; only water is permitted. Follow any instructions you are given.