Talk to your doctor about when a cholesterol test is right for you. There are so many guidelines out there nowadays and doctors use different guidelines to decide when a person should have a cholesterol test. Based on your risk factor, a doctor may recommend that you a test. For example if you have had parents who have had heart issues during their lifetime, it is probably prudent for you to get your cholesterol profile checked.

When should adults get tested and how often?

Many health organizations recommend that everyone ages 18 to 80 be checked every 2 to 4 years to help predict the risk of heart attack and stroke. Many others would argue that anytime you change your diet and lifestyle, you should know where your lipids are on a test.

If you want an official view from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, they recommend a lipid panel for:

  • Men age 35 and older.
  • Men ages 20 to 35 who have risk factors forheart disease.
  • Women age 20 and older who have risk factors forheart


How often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your cholesterol level, your goals, diet, lifestyle, your other health problems, and your overall chance of heart disease. An adult who is being treated for high cholesterol may need more frequent tests, depending on his or her cholesterol level and the type of treatment being used. And given how easy nowadays it is to test your cholesterol, there is no excuse for not doing it. An adult who has coronary artery disease and / or diabetes should have a cholesterol test at least 3 to 4 times a year.

When should children get tested?

Your child’s doctor may suggest a cholesterol test for your child or teen based on your child’s age, family history, or during a physical exam. For more information, see Cholesterol in Children and Teens. But with the number of adolescents and teens diagnosed with diabetes, the need for testing cholesterol is only going to increase.

Should I get a public cholesterol test?

Public cholesterol testing can be convenient and helpful. Most doctors will want to verify public test results and know that you got them from a CLIA certified laboratory like Labcorp. The reliability of public cholesterol tests at health fairs, malls, drugstores, and other sites depends on many factors, such as the type of blood sample, if you were fasting or not, the equipment type, technicians, etc. There are many options to have your cholesterol checked out there, so check us out and take a step forward for your health!