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Cholesterol+ Test Service

$35

Check your total cholesterol and triglycerides. Keep on top of your health and track your levels over time.

Fingerprick sample collection kit

Secured online results account

Customised results sharing

Pre-paid sample return

Laboratory analysis

Track your levels over time

Free shipping

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Fingerprick sample collection kit

Secured online results account

Customised results sharing

Pre-paid sample return

Laboratory analysis

Track your levels over time

Free shipping

Why should I take this test?

Check your levels

Many people do not know if their cholesterol and triglyceride levels are outside the recommended safe level. There are no symptoms.

Manage your health

Keeping your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within the healthy range reduces your risk of serious health problems.

This test doesn’t report HDL and LDL separately. It’s a screening tool to identify individuals with high cholesterol who may be at risk of cardiovascular disease. Read and consider all information on this page before making your own decision about whether this test is right for you.

Our Prostate, Thyroid and Cholesterol test services are currently unavailable.

Please register your details – as soon as the test services become available we will be in contact.

Why should I take this test?

Check your levels

Many people do not know if their cholesterol and triglyceride levels are outside the recommended safe level. There are no symptoms.

Manage your health

Keeping your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within the healthy range reduces your risk of serious health problems.

This test doesn’t report HDL and LDL separately. It’s a screening tool to identify individuals with high cholesterol who may be at risk of cardiovascular disease. Read and consider all information on this page before making your own decision about whether this test is right for you.
What is the Cholesterol+ Test?

The Cholesterol+ Test is a useful screening tool to see if your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels are within or above the healthy range and whether you may be at risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

It’s a simple, at-home fingerprick blood test that reports the levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol in your blood separately.

You can use this test to:

  • Check if your cholesterol and triglycerides are within the healthy range
  • Check if you have raised triglycerides and/or cholesterol
  • Track your changes in cholesterol whilst taking cholesterol-lowering medication*
  • Track your changes in cholesterol and triglycerides after lifestyle changes (dieting/exercise)*

If your triglycerides and/or total cholesterol are raised, you should be speaking with your doctor about your cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Your healthcare provider can discuss the options available to best manage your health based on your circumstances.

Our dried blood spot (DBS) test for cholesterol and triglyceride levels has been validated and compared to traditional pathology methods. See Clinical Information.

* Changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels following medication or lifestyle changes will be different for everyone. It is not useful to use the result of one test to indicate a change but rather look at the trend of test results over time.

HOW IT WORKS

Our blood test service is one small way to make your life easier. There’s no need to squeeze a visit to the pathology collection centre into your day and no needles to worry about. There are simply three steps:

  1. 1.   Simply order your tests online and we'll post you a collection kit.
  2. 2.   Collect three drops of blood from your finger, at home at a time that suits you and post them back to our quality controlled laboratory to process your results.
  3. 3.   Your results will be delivered via our secure website within a week and you can share with your doctor or others as you wish.

The Cholesterol+ test will give you two measures of the fats in your blood:

  1. 1.   Total cholesterol
  2. 2.   Triglycerides

If your levels are raised above the healthy range, this will be clearly marked on your results as HIGH. With increasing age or with conditions such as diabetes it is desirable to aim for a lower cholesterol level. Take these results to your doctor or other healthcare provider to discuss the options available to best manage your health based on your individual circumstances.

If you're already aware that you have high cholesterol or triglycerides and you're using cholesterol lowering medication and/or lifestyle changes, then this at-home fingerprick test is an alternative way for you to track your progress over time.

Changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels following medication or lifestyle changes will be different for everyone. It is not useful to use the result of one test to indicate a change but rather look at the trend of test results over time.

The MyHealthTest Cholesterol+ test report contains:

  • Your test result for cholesterol
  • Your test result for triglycerides
  • An indication if they are outside the normal range
  • Links to key information to help you understand your results

Here is an example report.

Cholesterol and triglyceride levels can naturally vary widely from day to day and with time of day. It’s important to know what can affect your test results to minimise any stress and concern over high numbers.

Fatty foods: triglyceride levels can be raised if you take your fingerprick blood sample too soon after a fatty meal. While we don’t ask you to fast before taking your sample, it’s best to stick to your normal diet and avoid overly fatty foods.

Recent illness: cholesterol levels are reduced for up to 8 weeks with acute illness (e.g., heart attack, severe infection) and testing should not be attempted during this time.

Soaps and moisturisers: the best time to collect your sample is first thing in the morning, before you have applied any hand moisturisers and after washing your hands as these can falsely increase triglyceride levels.

Incorrect sample collection: it’s important to follow the sample collection guidelines carefully so we can ensure the accuracy of your test result. If the dried blood spots are not large enough, you may be asked to repeat the test.

FRONT OF CARD

BACK OF CARD

Different laboratories: it’s important to note that blood test results from different laboratories can and do vary. This is because different laboratories may use different methods of testing. This should be considered if you’re comparing your MyHealthTest results to those from other labs. For more information please read our frequently asked questions.

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about cholesterol/triglyceride testing or using this test service.

It’s important to make your own decision about whether this Cholesterol+ test is right for you. This test is a screening tool to flag results that indicate if you should be speaking with your doctor about your cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

It’s recommended that adults over 45 years of age, or those younger than 45 with family history of heart disease get checked regularly. If you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island descent, then you should regularly check your cholesterol from 35 years of age.

Children don’t need to be tested unless they have diabetes.

Generally, people younger than 45 years of age should have their cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked every five years.

Dr Cathie Coleman, Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital in this short video talks about your heart health check and recommends even if you are under 40 years you should check your cholesterol at least once.

If you’re taking cholesterol-lowering medicines, your doctor may ask you to take more frequent tests, so they can check if the medicine is working properly. This test is another way you can track your changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels over time.

This test does not provide a breakdown of cholesterol into HDL (often called “good cholesterol”) and LDL (“bad cholesterol”). Your doctor will likely conduct further investigation to calculate your risk of developing heart disease, which includes checking your HDL levels, taking your blood pressure, an electrocardiogram (ECG), as well as assessing your age, smoking status and whether you have diabetes. All these measurements are required by health professionals to calculate your risk of heart disease using the Australian absolute cardiovascular disease risk calculator.

If you would like to read more about managing your risk of heart disease click here

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about cholesterol tests or using this test service

The Cholesterol+ test is a measure of your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. By checking these regularly, you can keep on top of your health and quickly identify if your levels creep up beyond the healthy range.

If your test results aren’t within the healthy range, your doctor may recommend more frequent tests. Your doctor may suggest more frequent tests if you have a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease or other risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes or high blood pressure.

If you’re consciously making lifestyle changes to improve your health, or you’re taking cholesterol lowering medications, you can track improvements over time, using our subscription service.

Each time you take the test, your results will be recorded and shown in tables and a graph, a little bit like viewing your phone or electricity bill. You will be able to see at a glance how your levels are changing over time, making it easier for you to monitor and manage your health. You can set up to automatically share your results with your doctor or whoever you choose, or you can easily print out your results to take to your doctor if you prefer.

Perhaps you'd like to make sure you remember to do your screening test regularly, as you’ve agreed with your GP. Our subscription service makes it easy – simply tell us how often you want to take your test and we'll take care of the rest. We'll send you your new collection kit when it's time to do your next check, and it's affordable too – you only pay for each test service when it's time to send you a new kit.

So, do you know how your cholesterol and triglycerides are tracking?

Early detection of an upward rise in your cholesterol and/or triglycerides could be your key to prevent serious health conditions such as heart disease or stroke.

If you subscribe to regular tests, you’ll save more than 15% OFF the single test service price. A minimum purchase of two test services is required to take advantage of the subscription savings. Conditions apply, please read our frequently asked questions and Terms and Conditions.

Facts
  • 75% of cholesterol is made in the liver, the rest comes from the foods you eat
  • Triglycerides are mainly found in animal fats and vegetable oils (including nuts)
  • About half of adult Australians have a total blood cholesterol reading higher than the recommended safe level
  • High blood cholesterol is one risk factor for heart attacks

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an important building block for your body to function properly. Your body uses this fatty substance to make cell walls and hormones including cortisol and vitamin D. It also helps in digestion. Your liver generally makes enough cholesterol for your daily needs, but it’s also found in foods such as meat and dairy. Having too much (especially when you get older) puts you at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Find out more about blood cholesterol and how to manage it.

What are lipoproteins?

Cholesterol travels through the blood on tiny “packages” (proteins) called lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout the body:

High Density Lipoproteins: HDL helps remove excess cholesterol from the body, that’s why it’s often called ‘good cholesterol’. It can be difficult to keep the HDL component of your cholesterol high because of lifestyle factors that can lower it, including type 2 diabetes, being overweight, not enough exercise, and smoking. Genetic factors can also play a role.

Low Density Lipoproteins: LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’ transports cholesterol to your arteries where it can build up, causing those arteries to narrow and slow blood flow. It also increases the risk of a blood clot breaking away and blocking arteries in your heart or brain, leading to heart attack or stroke.

LDL needs to be kept at the lowest level you and your doctor can achieve. Statin medications can help, but your diet plays an important role. Your LDL cholesterol goes up if you eat a lot of food high in saturated fats and ‘trans’ fats.

Total Cholesterol: is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. Your total cholesterol includes low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol.

Triglycerides: are another type of fat found in the bloodstream and are physically associated with cholesterol in your blood - in high levels, it can lead to heart disease and stroke.

When you eat, your body converts calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides, stored to be used for energy later. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, you may have high triglycerides.

High cholesterol or triglycerides has no symptoms, so many people don’t know their levels are too high and damage is being done to their blood vessels.

A blood test is the only way to detect high cholesterol.

There are some factors that contribute to high cholesterol that are within your control, such as an unhealthy diet, inactivity and obesity; whilst there are others that may play a role, but are beyond your control, for example, family history or certain medicines or medical conditions.

Unhealthy diet: saturated fats and trans fats can increase your cholesterol levels. Some plant-based foods such as palm oil or coconut oil contain saturated fats as well as animal-based food products such as cheese, milk, butter and meat.

Lack of exercise: exercise can increase your HDL (good cholesterol)

Obesity: a body mass index (BMI) over 30 puts you at risk of high cholesterol

Large waist circumference: your risk increases if your waist measurement is greater than 94 cm (37 inches) for a man or 80 cm (31.5 inches) for a woman

Smoking: damages the blood vessel walls, causing plaque to build up and may lower your good cholesterol

Alcohol: regular intakes can increase your cholesterol and triglycerides

Diabetes: high blood sugar contributes to higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol as well as damaging the lining of your arteries

Genetics: if high cholesterol runs in your family, you’re at increased risk of having high cholesterol yourself

Age: cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older, particularly among women after menopause

High blood pressure: if you’ve been told you have high blood pressure, you’re at greater risk of high cholesterol and heart disease

Medications and medical conditions: various medications can affect your cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a range of medical conditions, your doctor will take this into consideration when interpreting the results. These are outlined for clinicians in the Clinical Information section.

If you’re concerned about your risk of heart disease you should talk to your doctor. They will assess your symptoms and history and discuss testing options with you.

For more information about heart disease and cholesterol, visit the Heart Foundation

What people are saying about MyHealthTest

“I took the test for cholesterol and it was a bit high, so I will definitely be talking to my doctor about this next time I go.”

Maddy, NSW

Total cholesterol is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. Your total cholesterol includes low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance made by your liver and comes from some foods you eat.

To learn more, we recommend you read the Cholesterol & Triglycerides section.

Triglycerides are another type of fat found in the bloodstream that can increase your risk of heart disease.

To learn more, we recommend you read the Cholesterol & Triglycerides section on this page.

This cholesterol and triglycerides test is a useful screening tool to see if your levels are outside of the healthy range and whether you are at risk of developing heart disease.

Generally, people younger than 45 should have their cholesterol and triglycerides levels checked every 5 years. However, it is recommended that adults over 45 or those younger than 45 with a family history of heart disease get tested regularly; and if you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent you should get checked regularly from 35 years of age.

We recommend you read the Cholesterol Testing and Cholesterol & Triglycerides sections to make an informed decision. If you have any concerns, please discuss with your healthcare professional.

MyHealthTest’s fingerprick blood testing service is reliable and accurate.

Total cholesterol and triglycerides can be reliably measured from dried blood spots. Our dried blood spot sampling method has been validated and is comparable to testing with traditional blood samples (e.g., having blood taken at a local pathology centre).

Find out more about dried blood spot testing and our state-of-the-art Australian pathology lab.

Fasting is not required for the MyHealthTest Cholesterol+ test. Traditionally fasting samples have been recommended for cholesterol and triglyceride testing. A recent international guideline has established the suitability of non-fasting samples. This is based on research showing the difference in cholesterol levels after food intake is minimal compared to fasting and only a small increase in triglycerides is usually observed. Individuals with a known high triglyceride level should fast. Test reports provide the fasting status of the individual tested.

Your results will be reported in two separate measures, total cholesterol in mmol/L and triglycerides in mmol/L. It will indicate whether each result falls within the healthy range for each measure or whether your levels are raised above the expected safe range.

If you record a high cholesterol or triglyceride level, please consult your doctor.

We recommend you read the Cholesterol Testing section to understand what can affect the results of this test.

If your cholesterol or triglycerides test result is above the recommended level this will be indicated on your report as *HIGH. It is recommended that you take this result to your doctor.

An example report can be found here

If your result is above a level we consider requires urgent medical attention, our physician may contact you and your doctor.

Cholesterol and triglyceride levels can naturally vary widely from day to day and with time of day. Ideally you should continue your usual diet but avoid overly fatty foods before taking the test.

Hand creams and other moisturisers can contain ingredients that can affect your triglyceride results. Before you collect the blood sample, you will be instructed to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water for a minimum of 30 seconds with no soap. The best time to collect this sample is first thing in the morning before you have applied any hand moisturisers and after washing your hands.

Even some medicines and medical conditions can affect your test results. We recommend you read the Cholesterol Testing section for further detail.

A subscription to check your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels regularly not only saves money but helps you stay on top of your health and involves three simple steps:

1.  Simply select the option in the webstore “Subscribe and Save” and choose how often you would like to check your levels. For example, you may want to check every 12 months, so you would use the arrows to select the number 12 to receive a test kit in the post every year.

2.  Your first order will be processed immediately and charged at the rate listed at time of purchase. Subsequent tests will be charged at the advertised price on the business day your test is due to be sent. In that way, if there is a deal on you won’t miss out. The standard subscriber rate for the Cholesterol+ test is $29.

3.  When your next test is due, your card will be charged for the test and it will be shipped out automatically at the nominated interval – be sure to keep your details up to date by logging into your account to manage your subscription.

To learn more about subscriptions see our general FAQ page

Currently our Cholesterol+ test service is available online through our webstore.

This test can be purchased for your own use or someone you care for i.e. another person for whom you are the legal guardian or authorised carer.

Pathology results from different laboratories can and do vary. This should be considered if comparing to results from other labs.

MyHealthTest uses dried blood spot samples using laboratory techniques which differ from traditional whole blood testing. The MyHealthTest test results have been validated and compared to traditional testing to ensure that you are given an accurate and reliable result. For more information click here to see a video.

Once your sample arrives at our pathology lab, we’ll send you an email notifying you that your sample is being processed. Once your sample has been analysed by the pathology lab you will receive another email to let you know your results are ready and provide instructions on how to login to your personal MyHealthTest secure website to view your results. Results are generally ready within a week. If you haven’t received your results within a few days of receiving our notification email, please check your Junk or Spam email folders. If you’re unable to locate your results, please contact us.

If you have further questions, please view our general frequently asked questions.

The following information is intended for clinicians, and consumers who want more details about this test.

MyHealthTest’s fingerprick blood test for total cholesterol and triglycerides was developed to improve the access and convenience of blood testing, to help identify people with elevated levels and encourage them to visit their healthcare provider for further testing where indicated.

The test will be of use to people who have decided to monitor their total cholesterol and triglyceride levels but due to access issues (geographic, physical or time constraints) are finding it difficult to present for blood tests as planned.

Interpretation of results must take into account age, gender and comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus. The presence of a comorbidity such as diabetes mellitus makes it desirable to target a lower circulating cholesterol.

This test is a screening tool to flag results that indicate if an individual should be speaking with their doctor about their cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

Due to the nature of dried blood spot testing this test reports total cholesterol and triglycerides, but it does not report the separation of HDL and LDL cholesterol. Therefore further testing and investigation by healthcare professionals is required to determine absolute risk of cardiovascular disease using the national cardiovascular risk prediction calculator.

Dried blood spot results obtained for total cholesterol and triglycerides are comparable to serum samples collected by venepuncture and analysed by the same method (Randox – enzymatic endpoint) and demonstrate clinically acceptable precision to be used as a screening tool to identify individuals who might be at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Figure 1. Cholesterol Bland Altman and Linear Regression analysis of serum vs DBS (Randox enzymatic method)

Figure 2. Triglycerides Bland Altman and Linear Regression analysis of serum vs DBS (Randox enzymatic method)

Total cholesterolTriglycerides
Assay type: Colorimetric enzymatic endpoint (Randox) Colorimetric enzymatic endpoint (Randox)
Instrument: Enspire spectrophotometer (Perkin Elmer) Enspire spectrophotometer (Perkin Elmer)
Sample:Fingerprick dried blood spot (DBS)Fingerprick dried blood spot (DBS)
Measurand:Total cholesterol concentration in whole blood (results are reported to reflect the serum concentration)Triglyceride concentration in whole blood (results are reported to reflect the serum concentration)
Measurement Range:1 – 17 mmol/L0.2 – 11.4 mmol/L
Decision limits#:>5.5 mmol/L;

≥7.5 mmol/L may indicate familial hypercholesterolemia and should be investigated
>2 mmol/L
Repeatability (within-run precision):5.9% at 3.9 mmol/L;

4.6% at 7.1 mmol/L
0.1 mmol/L at 1.2 mmol/L;

3.4% at 4.1 mmol/L
Reproducibility (intermediate precision)*:11.5% at 3.9 mmol/L;

7.2% at 7.1 mmol/L
6.4% at 1.2 mmol/L;

4.9% at 4.1 mmol/L
Stability:20 days20 days
Thermal stability46°C for 2 days46°C for 2 days

#Decision limits are recommendations by the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) and are neither reference intervals nor clinical action limits. A flag based on these limits may be taken as an indication to review the absolute cardiovascular risk of the patient. For information on therapeutic target goals refer to the NVPDA (National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance) 2012 Guidelines for the management of absolute cardiovascular disease risk

*Further information on measurement uncertainty is available upon request.

Samples are stable for up to 20 days after collection and thermal stability testing confirmed that after holding dried blood spot samples at 46°C for two days there was no significant difference in the total cholesterol and triglyceride values obtained.

When evaluating the Cholesterol+ test results there are several factors that may affect the results and will need to be taken into consideration by healthcare professionals.

Incorrect sample collection: sample collection guidelines should be followed carefully to ensure the accuracy of your test result. For example, washing hands without soap before collecting sample.

Soaps and moisturisers: these can falsely increase triglyceride levels. The best time to collect the sample is first thing in the morning, before applying any hand moisturisers and after washing hands.

Medications: the following common medications may affect results:

  • Anti-convulsants (epilepsy)
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Antibiotics (chronic infection)
  • Anti-depressants
  • Beta-blockers (blood pressure)
  • Birth control pills
  • Diuretics (high blood pressure, oedema)
  • HIV medication
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Steroids such as cortisone (allergies, skin disorders, inflammatory diseases, cancer, Addison’s disease, organ transplant, asthma)

This list is not exhaustive.

Medical conditions: certain conditions should be considered as they are known to affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These include:

Non-fasting samples: Fasting is not required for the MyHealthTest Cholesterol+ test unless an individual has a history of elevated triglycerides. Traditionally fasting samples have been recommended for cholesterol / triglyceride testing. However, recent international guidelines have established the suitability of non-fasting samples for this type of testing. This is based on research showing the difference in cholesterol levels after food intake is minimal compared to fasting and only a small increase in triglycerides is usually observed. Individuals with a known high triglyceride level should fast. Test reports provide the fasting status of the individual tested.

Interferences with the pathology analysis:

There may be some biological interferences present in a blood sample that may affect the Cholesterol+ test at the pathology analysis stage which healthcare professionals will take into consideration when reviewing results. These interferences include:

Bilirubin: conditions that affect bilirubin levels such as Gilbert’s syndrome, jaundice, liver disease, gallstones or cancer of the gallbladder/pancreas.

Haematocrit levels: high or low haematocrit outside the expected range of 39 – 53% may affect the reported total cholesterol and triglyceride values due to the nature of dried blood spots and cholesterol present in the red blood cell membranes.

Glycerol: the topical application of moisturisers containing glycerol / glycerine at the sample collection site may falsely elevate the reported triglyceride values. Individuals taking this test are advised in the instructions for use to collect their sample prior to using moisturisers, ideally first thing in the morning.

An example test report can be viewed here

What is the Cholesterol+ Test?

The Cholesterol+ Test is a useful screening tool to see if your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels are within or above the healthy range and whether you may be at risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

It’s a simple, at-home fingerprick blood test that reports the levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol in your blood separately.

You can use this test to:

  • Check if your cholesterol and triglycerides are within the healthy range
  • Check if you have raised triglycerides and/or cholesterol
  • Track your changes in cholesterol whilst taking cholesterol-lowering medication*
  • Track your changes in cholesterol and triglycerides after lifestyle changes (dieting/exercise)*

If your triglycerides and/or total cholesterol are raised, you should be speaking with your doctor about your cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Your healthcare provider can discuss the options available to best manage your health based on your circumstances.

Our dried blood spot (DBS) test for cholesterol and triglyceride levels has been validated and compared to traditional pathology methods. See Clinical Information.

* Changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels following medication or lifestyle changes will be different for everyone. It is not useful to use the result of one test to indicate a change but rather look at the trend of test results over time.

HOW IT WORKS

Our blood test service is one small way to make your life easier. There’s no need to squeeze a visit to the pathology collection centre into your day and no needles to worry about. There are simply three steps:

  1. 1.   Simply order your tests online and we'll post you a collection kit.
  2. 2.   Collect three drops of blood from your finger, at home at a time that suits you and post them back to our quality controlled laboratory to process your results.
  3. 3.   Your results will be delivered via our secure website within a week and you can share with your doctor or others as you wish.

The Cholesterol+ test will give you two measures of the fats in your blood:

  1. 1.   Total cholesterol
  2. 2.   Triglycerides

If your levels are raised above the healthy range, this will be clearly marked on your results as HIGH. With increasing age or with conditions such as diabetes it is desirable to aim for a lower cholesterol level. Take these results to your doctor or other healthcare provider to discuss the options available to best manage your health based on your individual circumstances.

If you're already aware that you have high cholesterol or triglycerides and you're using cholesterol lowering medication and/or lifestyle changes, then this at-home fingerprick test is an alternative way for you to track your progress over time.

Changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels following medication or lifestyle changes will be different for everyone. It is not useful to use the result of one test to indicate a change but rather look at the trend of test results over time.

The MyHealthTest Cholesterol+ test report contains:

  • Your test result for cholesterol
  • Your test result for triglycerides
  • An indication if they are outside the normal range
  • Links to key information to help you understand your results

Here is an example report.

Cholesterol and triglyceride levels can naturally vary widely from day to day and with time of day. It’s important to know what can affect your test results to minimise any stress and concern over high numbers.

Fatty foods: triglyceride levels can be raised if you take your fingerprick blood sample too soon after a fatty meal. While we don’t ask you to fast before taking your sample, it’s best to stick to your normal diet and avoid overly fatty foods.

Recent illness: cholesterol levels are reduced for up to 8 weeks with acute illness (e.g., heart attack, severe infection) and testing should not be attempted during this time.

Soaps and moisturisers: the best time to collect your sample is first thing in the morning, before you have applied any hand moisturisers and after washing your hands as these can falsely increase triglyceride levels.

Incorrect sample collection: it’s important to follow the sample collection guidelines carefully so we can ensure the accuracy of your test result. If the dried blood spots are not large enough, you may be asked to repeat the test.

FRONT OF CARD

BACK OF CARD

Different laboratories: it’s important to note that blood test results from different laboratories can and do vary. This is because different laboratories may use different methods of testing. This should be considered if you’re comparing your MyHealthTest results to those from other labs. For more information please read our frequently asked questions.

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about cholesterol/triglyceride testing or using this test service.

It’s important to make your own decision about whether this Cholesterol+ test is right for you. This test is a screening tool to flag results that indicate if you should be speaking with your doctor about your cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

It’s recommended that adults over 45 years of age, or those younger than 45 with family history of heart disease get checked regularly. If you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island descent, then you should regularly check your cholesterol from 35 years of age.

Children don’t need to be tested unless they have diabetes.

Generally, people younger than 45 years of age should have their cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked every five years.

Dr Cathie Coleman, Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital in this short video talks about your heart health check and recommends even if you are under 40 years you should check your cholesterol at least once.

If you’re taking cholesterol-lowering medicines, your doctor may ask you to take more frequent tests, so they can check if the medicine is working properly. This test is another way you can track your changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels over time.

This test does not provide a breakdown of cholesterol into HDL (often called “good cholesterol”) and LDL (“bad cholesterol”). Your doctor will likely conduct further investigation to calculate your risk of developing heart disease, which includes checking your HDL levels, taking your blood pressure, an electrocardiogram (ECG), as well as assessing your age, smoking status and whether you have diabetes. All these measurements are required by health professionals to calculate your risk of heart disease using the Australian absolute cardiovascular disease risk calculator.

If you would like to read more about managing your risk of heart disease click here

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about cholesterol tests or using this test service

The Cholesterol+ test is a measure of your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. By checking these regularly, you can keep on top of your health and quickly identify if your levels creep up beyond the healthy range.

If your test results aren’t within the healthy range, your doctor may recommend more frequent tests. Your doctor may suggest more frequent tests if you have a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease or other risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes or high blood pressure.

If you’re consciously making lifestyle changes to improve your health, or you’re taking cholesterol lowering medications, you can track improvements over time, using our subscription service.

Each time you take the test, your results will be recorded and shown in tables and a graph, a little bit like viewing your phone or electricity bill. You will be able to see at a glance how your levels are changing over time, making it easier for you to monitor and manage your health. You can set up to automatically share your results with your doctor or whoever you choose, or you can easily print out your results to take to your doctor if you prefer.

Perhaps you'd like to make sure you remember to do your screening test regularly, as you’ve agreed with your GP. Our subscription service makes it easy – simply tell us how often you want to take your test and we'll take care of the rest. We'll send you your new collection kit when it's time to do your next check, and it's affordable too – you only pay for each test service when it's time to send you a new kit.

So, do you know how your cholesterol and triglycerides are tracking?

Early detection of an upward rise in your cholesterol and/or triglycerides could be your key to prevent serious health conditions such as heart disease or stroke.

If you subscribe to regular tests, you’ll save more than 15% OFF the single test service price. A minimum purchase of two test services is required to take advantage of the subscription savings. Conditions apply, please read our frequently asked questions and Terms and Conditions.

Facts
  • 75% of cholesterol is made in the liver, the rest comes from the foods you eat
  • Triglycerides are mainly found in animal fats and vegetable oils (including nuts)
  • About half of adult Australians have a total blood cholesterol reading higher than the recommended safe level
  • High blood cholesterol is one risk factor for heart attacks

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an important building block for your body to function properly. Your body uses this fatty substance to make cell walls and hormones including cortisol and vitamin D. It also helps in digestion. Your liver generally makes enough cholesterol for your daily needs, but it’s also found in foods such as meat and dairy. Having too much (especially when you get older) puts you at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Find out more about blood cholesterol and how to manage it.

What are lipoproteins?

Cholesterol travels through the blood on tiny “packages” (proteins) called lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout the body:

High Density Lipoproteins: HDL helps remove excess cholesterol from the body, that’s why it’s often called ‘good cholesterol’. It can be difficult to keep the HDL component of your cholesterol high because of lifestyle factors that can lower it, including type 2 diabetes, being overweight, not enough exercise, and smoking. Genetic factors can also play a role.

Low Density Lipoproteins: LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’ transports cholesterol to your arteries where it can build up, causing those arteries to narrow and slow blood flow. It also increases the risk of a blood clot breaking away and blocking arteries in your heart or brain, leading to heart attack or stroke.

LDL needs to be kept at the lowest level you and your doctor can achieve. Statin medications can help, but your diet plays an important role. Your LDL cholesterol goes up if you eat a lot of food high in saturated fats and ‘trans’ fats.

Total Cholesterol: is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. Your total cholesterol includes low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol.

Triglycerides: are another type of fat found in the bloodstream and are physically associated with cholesterol in your blood - in high levels, it can lead to heart disease and stroke.

When you eat, your body converts calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides, stored to be used for energy later. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, you may have high triglycerides.

High cholesterol or triglycerides has no symptoms, so many people don’t know their levels are too high and damage is being done to their blood vessels.

A blood test is the only way to detect high cholesterol.

There are some factors that contribute to high cholesterol that are within your control, such as an unhealthy diet, inactivity and obesity; whilst there are others that may play a role, but are beyond your control, for example, family history or certain medicines or medical conditions.

Unhealthy diet: saturated fats and trans fats can increase your cholesterol levels. Some plant-based foods such as palm oil or coconut oil contain saturated fats as well as animal-based food products such as cheese, milk, butter and meat.

Lack of exercise: exercise can increase your HDL (good cholesterol)

Obesity: a body mass index (BMI) over 30 puts you at risk of high cholesterol

Large waist circumference: your risk increases if your waist measurement is greater than 94 cm (37 inches) for a man or 80 cm (31.5 inches) for a woman

Smoking: damages the blood vessel walls, causing plaque to build up and may lower your good cholesterol

Alcohol: regular intakes can increase your cholesterol and triglycerides

Diabetes: high blood sugar contributes to higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol as well as damaging the lining of your arteries

Genetics: if high cholesterol runs in your family, you’re at increased risk of having high cholesterol yourself

Age: cholesterol levels tend to rise as you get older, particularly among women after menopause

High blood pressure: if you’ve been told you have high blood pressure, you’re at greater risk of high cholesterol and heart disease

Medications and medical conditions: various medications can affect your cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a range of medical conditions, your doctor will take this into consideration when interpreting the results. These are outlined for clinicians in the Clinical Information section.

If you’re concerned about your risk of heart disease you should talk to your doctor. They will assess your symptoms and history and discuss testing options with you.

For more information about heart disease and cholesterol, visit the Heart Foundation

What people are saying about MyHealthTest

“I took the test for cholesterol and it was a bit high, so I will definitely be talking to my doctor about this next time I go.”

Maddy, NSW

Total cholesterol is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. Your total cholesterol includes low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance made by your liver and comes from some foods you eat.

To learn more, we recommend you read the Cholesterol & Triglycerides section.

Triglycerides are another type of fat found in the bloodstream that can increase your risk of heart disease.

To learn more, we recommend you read the Cholesterol & Triglycerides section on this page.

This cholesterol and triglycerides test is a useful screening tool to see if your levels are outside of the healthy range and whether you are at risk of developing heart disease.

Generally, people younger than 45 should have their cholesterol and triglycerides levels checked every 5 years. However, it is recommended that adults over 45 or those younger than 45 with a family history of heart disease get tested regularly; and if you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent you should get checked regularly from 35 years of age.

We recommend you read the Cholesterol Testing and Cholesterol & Triglycerides sections to make an informed decision. If you have any concerns, please discuss with your healthcare professional.

MyHealthTest’s fingerprick blood testing service is reliable and accurate.

Total cholesterol and triglycerides can be reliably measured from dried blood spots. Our dried blood spot sampling method has been validated and is comparable to testing with traditional blood samples (e.g., having blood taken at a local pathology centre).

Find out more about dried blood spot testing and our state-of-the-art Australian pathology lab.

Fasting is not required for the MyHealthTest Cholesterol+ test. Traditionally fasting samples have been recommended for cholesterol and triglyceride testing. A recent international guideline has established the suitability of non-fasting samples. This is based on research showing the difference in cholesterol levels after food intake is minimal compared to fasting and only a small increase in triglycerides is usually observed. Individuals with a known high triglyceride level should fast. Test reports provide the fasting status of the individual tested.

Your results will be reported in two separate measures, total cholesterol in mmol/L and triglycerides in mmol/L. It will indicate whether each result falls within the healthy range for each measure or whether your levels are raised above the expected safe range.

If you record a high cholesterol or triglyceride level, please consult your doctor.

We recommend you read the Cholesterol Testing section to understand what can affect the results of this test.

If your cholesterol or triglycerides test result is above the recommended level this will be indicated on your report as *HIGH. It is recommended that you take this result to your doctor.

An example report can be found here

If your result is above a level we consider requires urgent medical attention, our physician may contact you and your doctor.

Cholesterol and triglyceride levels can naturally vary widely from day to day and with time of day. Ideally you should continue your usual diet but avoid overly fatty foods before taking the test.

Hand creams and other moisturisers can contain ingredients that can affect your triglyceride results. Before you collect the blood sample, you will be instructed to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water for a minimum of 30 seconds with no soap. The best time to collect this sample is first thing in the morning before you have applied any hand moisturisers and after washing your hands.

Even some medicines and medical conditions can affect your test results. We recommend you read the Cholesterol Testing section for further detail.

A subscription to check your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels regularly not only saves money but helps you stay on top of your health and involves three simple steps:

1.  Simply select the option in the webstore “Subscribe and Save” and choose how often you would like to check your levels. For example, you may want to check every 12 months, so you would use the arrows to select the number 12 to receive a test kit in the post every year.

2.  Your first order will be processed immediately and charged at the rate listed at time of purchase. Subsequent tests will be charged at the advertised price on the business day your test is due to be sent. In that way, if there is a deal on you won’t miss out. The standard subscriber rate for the Cholesterol+ test is $29.

3.  When your next test is due, your card will be charged for the test and it will be shipped out automatically at the nominated interval – be sure to keep your details up to date by logging into your account to manage your subscription.

To learn more about subscriptions see our general FAQ page

Currently our Cholesterol+ test service is available online through our webstore.

This test can be purchased for your own use or someone you care for i.e. another person for whom you are the legal guardian or authorised carer.

Pathology results from different laboratories can and do vary. This should be considered if comparing to results from other labs.

MyHealthTest uses dried blood spot samples using laboratory techniques which differ from traditional whole blood testing. The MyHealthTest test results have been validated and compared to traditional testing to ensure that you are given an accurate and reliable result. For more information click here to see a video.

Once your sample arrives at our pathology lab, we’ll send you an email notifying you that your sample is being processed. Once your sample has been analysed by the pathology lab you will receive another email to let you know your results are ready and provide instructions on how to login to your personal MyHealthTest secure website to view your results. Results are generally ready within a week. If you haven’t received your results within a few days of receiving our notification email, please check your Junk or Spam email folders. If you’re unable to locate your results, please contact us.

If you have further questions, please view our general frequently asked questions.

The following information is intended for clinicians, and consumers who want more details about this test.

MyHealthTest’s fingerprick blood test for total cholesterol and triglycerides was developed to improve the access and convenience of blood testing, to help identify people with elevated levels and encourage them to visit their healthcare provider for further testing where indicated.

The test will be of use to people who have decided to monitor their total cholesterol and triglyceride levels but due to access issues (geographic, physical or time constraints) are finding it difficult to present for blood tests as planned.

Interpretation of results must take into account age, gender and comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus. The presence of a comorbidity such as diabetes mellitus makes it desirable to target a lower circulating cholesterol.

This test is a screening tool to flag results that indicate if an individual should be speaking with their doctor about their cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

Due to the nature of dried blood spot testing this test reports total cholesterol and triglycerides, but it does not report the separation of HDL and LDL cholesterol. Therefore further testing and investigation by healthcare professionals is required to determine absolute risk of cardiovascular disease using the national cardiovascular risk prediction calculator.

Dried blood spot results obtained for total cholesterol and triglycerides are comparable to serum samples collected by venepuncture and analysed by the same method (Randox – enzymatic endpoint) and demonstrate clinically acceptable precision to be used as a screening tool to identify individuals who might be at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Figure 1. Cholesterol Bland Altman and Linear Regression analysis of serum vs DBS (Randox enzymatic method)

Figure 2. Triglycerides Bland Altman and Linear Regression analysis of serum vs DBS (Randox enzymatic method)

Total cholesterolTriglycerides
Assay type: Colorimetric enzymatic endpoint (Randox) Colorimetric enzymatic endpoint (Randox)
Instrument: Enspire spectrophotometer (Perkin Elmer) Enspire spectrophotometer (Perkin Elmer)
Sample:Fingerprick dried blood spot (DBS)Fingerprick dried blood spot (DBS)
Measurand:Total cholesterol concentration in whole blood (results are reported to reflect the serum concentration)Triglyceride concentration in whole blood (results are reported to reflect the serum concentration)
Measurement Range:1 – 17 mmol/L0.2 – 11.4 mmol/L
Decision limits#:>5.5 mmol/L;

≥7.5 mmol/L may indicate familial hypercholesterolemia and should be investigated
>2 mmol/L
Repeatability (within-run precision):5.9% at 3.9 mmol/L;

4.6% at 7.1 mmol/L
0.1 mmol/L at 1.2 mmol/L;

3.4% at 4.1 mmol/L
Reproducibility (intermediate precision)*:11.5% at 3.9 mmol/L;

7.2% at 7.1 mmol/L
6.4% at 1.2 mmol/L;

4.9% at 4.1 mmol/L
Stability:20 days20 days
Thermal stability46°C for 2 days46°C for 2 days

#Decision limits are recommendations by the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) and are neither reference intervals nor clinical action limits. A flag based on these limits may be taken as an indication to review the absolute cardiovascular risk of the patient. For information on therapeutic target goals refer to the NVPDA (National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance) 2012 Guidelines for the management of absolute cardiovascular disease risk

*Further information on measurement uncertainty is available upon request.

Samples are stable for up to 20 days after collection and thermal stability testing confirmed that after holding dried blood spot samples at 46°C for two days there was no significant difference in the total cholesterol and triglyceride values obtained.

When evaluating the Cholesterol+ test results there are several factors that may affect the results and will need to be taken into consideration by healthcare professionals.

Incorrect sample collection: sample collection guidelines should be followed carefully to ensure the accuracy of your test result. For example, washing hands without soap before collecting sample.

Soaps and moisturisers: these can falsely increase triglyceride levels. The best time to collect the sample is first thing in the morning, before applying any hand moisturisers and after washing hands.

Medications: the following common medications may affect results:

  • Anti-convulsants (epilepsy)
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Antibiotics (chronic infection)
  • Anti-depressants
  • Beta-blockers (blood pressure)
  • Birth control pills
  • Diuretics (high blood pressure, oedema)
  • HIV medication
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Steroids such as cortisone (allergies, skin disorders, inflammatory diseases, cancer, Addison’s disease, organ transplant, asthma)

This list is not exhaustive.

Medical conditions: certain conditions should be considered as they are known to affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These include:

Non-fasting samples: Fasting is not required for the MyHealthTest Cholesterol+ test unless an individual has a history of elevated triglycerides. Traditionally fasting samples have been recommended for cholesterol / triglyceride testing. However, recent international guidelines have established the suitability of non-fasting samples for this type of testing. This is based on research showing the difference in cholesterol levels after food intake is minimal compared to fasting and only a small increase in triglycerides is usually observed. Individuals with a known high triglyceride level should fast. Test reports provide the fasting status of the individual tested.

Interferences with the pathology analysis:

There may be some biological interferences present in a blood sample that may affect the Cholesterol+ test at the pathology analysis stage which healthcare professionals will take into consideration when reviewing results. These interferences include:

Bilirubin: conditions that affect bilirubin levels such as Gilbert’s syndrome, jaundice, liver disease, gallstones or cancer of the gallbladder/pancreas.

Haematocrit levels: high or low haematocrit outside the expected range of 39 – 53% may affect the reported total cholesterol and triglyceride values due to the nature of dried blood spots and cholesterol present in the red blood cell membranes.

Glycerol: the topical application of moisturisers containing glycerol / glycerine at the sample collection site may falsely elevate the reported triglyceride values. Individuals taking this test are advised in the instructions for use to collect their sample prior to using moisturisers, ideally first thing in the morning.

An example test report can be viewed here