HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol as it removes harmful or bad cholesterol from the places it does not belong to. It is a dense particle, which is why it is known as high density lipoprotein.
HDL acts in many helpful ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. It works like a scavenger by removing bad cholesterol from the walls (inner walls) of blood vessels and transporting it to the liver for reprocessing. In this way, the inner walls of the blood vessels are kept clean and a major risk of heart attacks and stroke is prevented by avoiding atherosclerosis. In general, high levels of HDL are good for the heart.
The HDL Cholesterol test measures the levels of HDL cholesterol in the blood.
Why is the test performed?
Generally, the HDL Cholesterol test is performed as a part of lipid profile. This helps to screen abnormal lipid levels and to assess an individual’s risk of developing heart disease.
When is the test recommended?
The test is recommended to assess the risk of developing heart disease in individuals who are at risk owing to the following risk factors:
- Unhealthy diet
- Age (45 and above for males and 55 and above for females)
- Family history of heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Pre-existing heart disease
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Alcohol abuse
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
The person taking the test may be instructed to fast for about 9 to 12 hours prior to the collection of sample.