Nav: Home

No need to fast before a cholesterol test

April 27, 2016

New research from Denmark, Canada and the US involving more than 300,000 individuals suggests that patients do not need to check their cholesterol levels on an empty stomach. So far fasting has been required before cholesterol and triglyceride measurement in all countries except Denmark, where non-fasting blood sampling has been used since 2009.

Fasting is a problem for many patients, and the latest research shows that cholesterol and triglyceride levels are similar whether you fast or not. Therefore, it is now advised that patients no longer need to fast. "This will improve patients compliance to preventive treatment aimed at reducing number of heart attacks and strokes, the main killers in the world," says Clinical Professor Borge Nordestgaard, Department of Clinical Medicine, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen.

In Denmark, the use of random, non-fasting cholesterol testing at any time of the day irrespective of food intake has been used successfully since 2009. Patients, doctors and laboratories have all benefitted from this simplified procedure. For people at work, children, patients with diabetes and the elderly it is particularly beneficial not to have to fast before blood sampling for cholesterol and triglyceride testing.

The research has just been published in the European Heart Journal.

International recommendation

This is the first international recommendation that fasting is no longer necessary before cholesterol and triglyceride testing. For cholesterol testing after a fast, patients are often inconvenienced by having to return on a separate visit and may default on essential testing. Also, because of fasting cholesterol testing doctors are burdened by having to review cholesterol findings at a later date, additional phone calls, e-mails, or even follow-up clinic visits, placing extra workloads on busy clinical staff. These problems disappear by using non-fasting cholesterol and triglyceride testing.

"That more patients will have their cholesterol and triglycerides measured will facilitate advice from their doctors on how best to prevent heart attacks and strokes in the future. We hope that non-fasting cholesterol testing will make more patients together with their doctors implement lifestyle changes and if necessary statin treatment to reduce the global burden of cardiovascular disease and premature death," adds Nordestgaard.

These recommendations represent a joint consensus statement from the European Atherosclerosis Society and European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine involving 21 World medical experts from Europe, Australia and the US.
-end-


University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Related Cholesterol Articles:

Experimental cholesterol-lowering drug effective at lowering bad cholesterol, study shows
Twice-yearly injections of an experimental cholesterol-lowering drug, inclisiran, were effective at reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often called bad cholesterol, in patients already taking the maximum dose of statin drugs, according to data of the ORION-10 trial presented Saturday, Nov.
Rethinking how cholesterol is integrated into cells
Cholesterol is best known in connection with cardiovascular disease, but cholesterol is also vital for many fundamental processes in the body.
Seed oils are best for LDL cholesterol
Using a statistical technique called network meta-analysis, researchers have combined the results of dozens of studies of dietary oils to identify those with the best effect on patients' LDL cholesterol and other blood lipids.
Cholesterol leash: Key tethering protein found to transport cellular cholesterol
Cholesterol is an essential component of living organisms, but the mechanisms that transport cholesterol inside the cell are poorly understood.
New way to treat cholesterol may be on the horizon
A breakthrough discovery by scientists at Houston Methodist Research Institute could change the way we treat cholesterol.
How low should LDL cholesterol go?
New analysis shows that in a high-risk population, achieving ultra-low LDL cholesterol levels, down to <10 mg/dL, safely results in additional lowering of risk of cardiovascular events.
Does boosting 'good' cholesterol really improve your health?
A new review addresses the mysteries behind 'good' HDL cholesterol and why boosting its levels does not necessarily provide protection from cardiovascular risk for patients.
Researchers zero-in on cholesterol's role in cells
For the first time, by using a path-breaking optical imaging technique to pinpoint cholesterol's location and movement within the cell membrane, chemists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have made the surprising finding that cholesterol is a signaling molecule that transmits messages across the cell membrane.
Raising 'good cholesterol' not as effective as lowering 'bad cholesterol'
Low and very high levels of HDL, or 'good cholesterol' are associated with a higher risk of dying from heart disease, cancer and other causes, according to a study today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
New gene for familial high cholesterol
New research from Denmark reveals the gene that explains one quarter of all familial hypercholesterolemia with very high blood cholesterol.
More Cholesterol News and Cholesterol Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.