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Blood Test: Lipid Panel

What Is a Blood Test?

By taking and testing a small sample of a person’s blood, doctors can check for many kinds of diseases and conditions. Blood tests help doctors check how the body’s organs are working and see if medical treatments are helpful.

To help your child get ready for a blood test, find out if they need to fast (not eat or drink) or should stop taking medicines before the test. Explain what to expect during the test. If your child is anxious about it, work together on ways to stay calm.

What Is a Lipid Panel?

A lipid (LIP-id) panel measures levels of different kinds of fats in the blood. 

  • Total cholesterol, which is the amount of the different types of cholesterol added together. The body needs some cholesterol. But too much can cause health problems.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often called "good" cholesterol. HDL helps the body get rid of extra cholesterol.
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often called "bad" cholesterol. LDL that builds up in the bloodstream can clog blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Triglycerides, which store energy until the body needs it. If the body holds on to too many triglycerides, blood vessels can get clogged and cause health problems.

Why Are Lipid Panels Done?

A lipid panel can show a person's risk for developing heart disease or atherosclerosis (a hardening, narrowing, or blockage of the arteries). Fixing the lipid levels early on may help prevent these problems.

Your child may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before the test, and not to exercise for 12 to 14 hours before.

What if I Have Questions?

If you have questions about the lipid panel or what the test results mean, talk to your doctor.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date Reviewed: Mar 20, 2023

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