Fasting Before Your Cholesterol Test
If you’ve had your cholesterol tested, you know the drill. You fast for at least 8 hours before the test. But a new study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that pre-test fasting might not be necessary for many people.
The study looked at more than 200,000 people who were tested. Some fasted before the tests, while others had eaten recently. Levels of total and HDL cholesterol varied only about 2% based on whether a person fasted or not. LDL levels varied less than 10%. Triglycerides varied less than 20%.
Determining who gets which test should depend on each person’s needs. Ideally, fasting lipid profiles should be done at least once. If this is normal, you may need only non-fasting cholesterol tests for many years.