High blood cholesterol can only be diagnosed by blood testing. The cholesterol test is done after a period of fasting (no food, drink or pills for 9 to 12 hours) to enable an accurate reading of LDL cholesterol from the blood test. The diagnosis of high blood cholesterol also gives information about total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. This test is called the lipid panel, and it looks for the consistency of cholesterol in the blood.
After you get all the HDL, LDL and Triglyceride levels, there is a guideline that is used to determine the cholesterol level. The guidelines set cholesterol levels that help determine the individual heart risk, is in the infographic below:
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After the test of cholesterol level, your doctor will explain the numbers to you and the health risks associated with high blood cholesterol. However, risk factors are not predicted based on the cholesterol level solely, your BMI Index, other health conditions, age, sex, and ethnicity are also considered.