Talk to your doctor about when a cholesterol test is right for you.
When should adults get tested?
Other organizations recommend cholesterol tests based on age and risk factors for heart disease. For example, a test might be recommended for all teens and young adults ages 17 to 21 years. Or a test might be recommended for any adult who has strong risk factors for heart disease.
- Men age 35 and older.
- Men ages 20 to 35 who have risk factors for heart disease.
- Women age 20 and older who have risk factors for heart disease.
How often should adults get tested?
When should children get tested?
For more information, see Cholesterol in Children and Teens.
Should I get a public cholesterol test?
Public cholesterol testing can be convenient and helpful. But most doctors will want to verify public test results. Because the doctor can evaluate risk factors and provide counseling, having your cholesterol level checked during a doctor visit is the preferred method.
The reliability of public cholesterol tests at health fairs, malls, drugstores, and other sites depends on many factors, including:
- What kind of blood sample is used (finger stick or a sample drawn from a vein).
- What type of equipment is used.
- Whether the equipment is used properly.
- How well the technicians have been trained.
You may wish to ask the technicians how much training they have had and how your blood sample will be handled.
For more information, see: