Navigation Links
No Need to Fast Before Cholesterol Blood Test: Study

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Current practice calls for patients to fast at least eight hours before having their cholesterol levels checked, but Canadian researchers report that may be unnecessary.

"For routine screening, fasting for cholesterol is largely unnecessary," because it has only a slight effect on test results, said lead researcher Dr. Christopher Naugler, assistant professor of clinical pathology at the University of Calgary, in Canada. "Eliminating fasting as a general requirement for cholesterol testing could greatly increase convenience for patients without significantly altering test results."

There are some patients, however, such as those with abnormally high triglycerides, where a repeat fasting cholesterol measurement may be necessary, Naugler said.

The report was published in the Nov. 12 online edition of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, Naugler and his colleague Dr. Davinder Sidhu looked at laboratory data on cholesterol tests from more than 200,000 patients.

The researchers compared fasting time with resulting cholesterol levels. Overall, they found fasting time made little difference in the accuracy of the blood test. Levels of total and HDL (good) cholesterol varied less than 2 percent with different fasting times.

In addition, levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol varied less than 10 percent and levels of triglycerides, a marker linked with inflammation, varied less than 20 percent, the researchers noted.

"In our opinion, physicians and health care providers may consider doing non-fasting lipid tests based on the current evidence," said Dr. Samia Mora, assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and co-author of an accompanying journal commentary.

Either non-fasting or fasting blood tests may be used for cholesterol testing, Mora said.

"This is based on a growing body of evidence -- including the present study, but also several other recent studies -- that non-fasting lipids are generally not substantially affected by the fasting," she said.

Non-fasting cholesterol blood tests have many advantages, Mora said.

"It's easier for patients, as it usually saves them from coming a second time after fasting. It's easier for physicians as well, as they can have the results faster," she said. "And it may potentially save costs, as sometimes individuals may have to repeat a blood test just for lipids if they weren't fasting the first time."

Another expert noted that non-fasting test results may also be a more reliable predictor of heart trouble.

"While most guidelines recommend obtaining a cardiovascular lipid panel after at least eight hours of fasting, many studies suggest for most individuals a non-fasting lipid panel provides similar lipid values," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, associate director of the cardiology division at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Some analyses have even suggested that non-fasting lipid levels are more accurate for predicting the risk of cardiovascular events compared to those obtained in the fasting state."

More information

For more information on cholesterol, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Christopher Naugler, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pathology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Samia Mora, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, and associate chief, division of cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Nov. 12, 2012, Archives of Internal Medicine, online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Treating Dyslexia Before Kids Learn to Read
2. Study finds that patient education videos viewed before an operation may benefit patients
3. Fox Chase researchers find no disparities in imaging before breast cancer surgery
4. Accelerated chemotherapy given before surgery benefits patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer
5. Predicting post-traumatic stress disorder before it happens
6. HIV Exposure Before Birth May Raise Kids Risk of Hearing Loss
7. US Drug Watchdog Dramatically Increases Their Efforts To Get All Recalled DePuy ASR Hip Implant Recipients Identified To The Best Possible Attorneys Before Time Runs Out
8. Specialized MRI scans assess value of anti-cancer chemotherapy long before tumors shown to shrink
9. Years before diagnosis, quality of life declines for Parkinsons disease patients
10. Parkinsons Patients Experience Declines Years Before Diagnosis
11. 11 Countries Now Restrict Indoor Tanning Before Age 18
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
No Need to Fast Before Cholesterol Blood Test: Study  
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... For many X-rays taken ... for accurate interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils are so small, however, ... has found a way to alleviate this problem. , He developed the patent-pending ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates ... a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they ... Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Next ... selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Healthcare Edition, an ... was recognized as a finalist in the category of Digital Solutions for its ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of aesthetic and medical laser and energy-based technology, announced ... the United States. Clarity is a Superior Dual Wavelength Platform which combines two ... platform that is easy to own and operate. , For over a decade, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... PYA’s ... Post-Affiliation Integration ,” addresses a main “pain point” for merging or aligning healthcare ... once a deal is signed. This quick-read guidance suggests that failing to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... N.J. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... held in San Francisco, CA ... solutions to the coronary marketplace. During a satellite ... in Stent Design to Minimize Restenosis", a renowned ... currently available Medinol NIRxcell™ CoCr Coronary Stent System ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: RLMD), a clinical-stage ... announced today that the company will present at the LD ... at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los ... Relmada Therapeutics, will present on Thursday, December 3, at 9:00 ... . Please register at least 10 minutes prior to the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)...  InCarda Therapeutics, Inc. (InCarda), a privately-held biopharmaceutical company ... cardiovascular conditions via the inhalation route, today announced that ... Australia . InCarda is planning to undertake its ... in the first half of 2016. The company ... Adelaide and Melbourne.  In addition, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: