Lipid Test Analyzer: Decode Your Results

"Your doctor will order a lipid panel as a routine screening test when evaluating your overall health, and particularly when assessing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Based on that risk assessment, your doctor may recommend specific measures you should take to reduce your risk." – Richard N. Fogoros, MD, Senior Medical Advisor, Verywell

 

Helpful Resources

Lipid panel tests are frequently included in your bloodwork, yet often confusing and misunderstood.

What do all the numbers mean? If your triglycerides, HDL, LDL, and other markers are outside their optimal ranges—or if your doctor has already recommended lifestyle changes to help you get them under control—Verywell offers you free resources to get your numbers where they should be and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Explore the following articles and tools to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to get my lipid panel test results analyzed?

To use this tool, you'll need the name of the test and your test result. This information is listed on the lab report you receive from your doctor or the laboratory where you got your bloodwork done.

All of your test values should be numerical values—no need to add units, we’ll add those for you!

Which lipid panel tests can be analyzed?

The standard lipid panel measures four different blood lipids, which are included in this analyzer:

  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

These four values are used by your doctor to make a formal estimate of your overall cardiovascular risk, using one of several available risk calculators. Based on that risk assessment, your doctor may recommend specific measures you should take to reduce your risk, possibly including lipid-lowering drug treatment.

Expert guidelines on treating blood lipids generally use only the four tests in the standard lipid panel. It is fairly common, however, for the standard lipid panel to report “borderline” results—results that are neither optimal nor clearly abnormal. In these cases, additional lipid tests can sometimes help your doctor decide whether lipid-lowering treatment is advisable. The following blood lipid tests are most commonly used for this purpose, and also included in this analyzer:

  • Cholesterol:HDL ratio
  • Non-HDL cholesterol
  • Apolipoprotein B (formerly LDL particle size and number)

You'll be able to analyze one test at a time. However, remember that your overall cardiovascular risk is determined by a combination of all your risk factors, not just one.

Your doctor is the best person to analyze your results as a whole.

If you'd like to learn more about all of the tests and their results, this downloadable guide provides a full overview of each of the lipid panel tests, their optimal ranges, and what each result means.

Download: Understanding the Various Lipid Panel Tests

Where can I find my lipid panel test results?

Your test results will be ready a few days after your bloodwork. Calling or visiting your doctor is the best way to get a copy of the lab report. They (or the laboratory that took your blood) may also have an online portal that you can log into.

Once the results are ready, your doctor will likely call or schedule an appointment to review them with you if there is a cause for concern. You can use this tool before or after your discussion.

On your report, you may notice different ranges than the ones in this analyzer. The reference ranges used in the analyzer are meant to represent typical ranges. If they differ, refer to the specific ones provided by the laboratory in which the test was performed.

What information will this tool provide?

Once you select your test and enter your result, the analyzer will tell you if it is low, optimal, or high and what that might mean. You’ll also learn a little bit about the test and why it's useful.

Additionally, you’ll have the option to sign up for daily tips for living a healthy life. They'll be delivered straight to your inbox.

Note that this analyzer uses typical total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and other reference ranges for adults ages 18 and up. Optimal ranges for children differ by age and children's results are best to discuss with a pediatrician or other healthcare professional.

How are my results analyzed?

A board-certified cardiologist completed all the analyses included in this tool using optimal range values and interpretations that are in line with leading authorities.

Remember that this analysis is for informational purposes only. The results should be used as a starting point or to further understand what you have already discussed with your doctor.

They are not a replacement for a professional medical visit. Your doctor is the best person to understand your unique situation and tailor any necessary treatment.

Who else can see my lab results or personal analysis?

We take online privacy very seriously, especially when it comes to individual and personalized health information. We do not track which lab tests you analyze and we do not store any lab values you enter. You are the only one who can see your analysis. Also, you will not be able to return to your results, so if you would like to save them it is best to print them.

Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Can this tool diagnose me with cardiovascular disease?

No, this tool does not provide medical advice, a heart disease diagnosis, or any other diagnosis. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultations, diagnosis, or treatment.

What should I do with my analysis?

The results from the lipid test analyzer are ideal for empowering yourself and learning more about your potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Use them in conjunction with discussions with your doctor, who will provide deeper explanations of each result and help put everything into context for your unique situation.

You can also use this information to help inspire questions to ask your doctor or use it as a starting point for a conversation. Asking the right questions—and finding the right answers—helps you better manage your health.

Consider downloading and bringing along this doctor discussion guide for even more guidance—it lists common vocabulary terms your doctor may use and important questions about symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and living well when you have high lipids.

Download: High Cholesterol Doctor Discussion Guide

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