Cholesterol Home Test Kits
What Do the Results From a Cholesterol Home Test Kit Mean? continued...
Once you know your risk, you and your doctor can work to lower your likelihood of a heart attack or stroke. In addition to healthy lifestyle and dietary changes, you may need a medication known as a statin to reduce the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol that’s in your blood by 30 to 50 percent.
The cholesterol kit test results are only an estimate of your cholesterol level. While the test is often as accurate as the test your health care provider uses, this home test should not be a substitute for your health care provider's assessment.
Are Results From a Cholesterol Home Test Kit Reliable?
The reliability of cholesterol home tests varies, and the results can fluctuate. It depends on the maker of the kits. Many cholesterol home test kits advertise that they are greater than 95% accurate. Still, these cholesterol results should be considered approximations and should not take the place of a cholesterol test conducted by your health care provider.
In addition, even if you consistently get normal results from your cholesterol home kit test strips, it's very important to consult with your health care provider. To determine your risk of heart disease, your health care provider will evaluate your cholesterol level along with other factors such as your weight, physical exam results, medical history, and family history. Your health care provider may conduct other tests aside from the cholesterol screening.
Are Cholesterol Home Test Kits Regulated by the FDA?
The FDA does regulate certain cholesterol home test kits. There are home test kits for HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, too. However, not all cholesterol home test kits you can buy meet the FDA's stringent guidelines.
If you are unsure about which cholesterol home test kit to purchase, the FDA has set up the Over-The-Counter Database. You can find it on the FDA's web site. This database is an excellent resource to search for FDA-cleared cholesterol home test kits. You can also use it to find other types of home test kits.