Should the Patient Fast before a Cholesterol Blood Test

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Although the total and HDL cholesterol levels are not significantly raised after a meal, the important LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels are. Therefore, patients are usually asked to fast for 12 hours (but they can drink as much water as they like) before a blood test for cholesterol. Most patients find it most convenient to have their blood test in the morning. Ifthe cholesterol level is high in a fasting patient, it cannot be due to a recent meal.

Cholesterol levels can vary a little in the same person from day to day.

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