A quick and easy way to check your cholesterol from home, the MyHealthTest Cholesterol Test Service can help you keep on top of your heart health.
Cholesterol and heart disease
About half of adult Australians have a total blood cholesterol reading higher than the recommended safe level.
There are two types of cholesterol:
- Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL Cholesterol) – sometimes called ‘bad cholesterol’
- High Density Lipoproteins (HDL Cholesterol) – sometimes called ‘good cholesterol’
Too much ‘bad cholesterol’ in the bloodstream creates fatty deposits (plaques) in arteries. Over time this can cause those arteries to narrow, slowing blood flow, and can eventually block them completely – leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Triglycerides are another type of fat found in the bloodstream that, in high levels, can lead to heart disease.
High levels of blood fats are a major risk factor for heart disease, however there are other risk factors including:
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight
- Lack of physical activity
- Depression or social isolation
Your age, gender, ethnic background and any family history of heart disease also affect your risk of heart attack or stroke.
If you’re concerned about your risk of heart disease you should talk to your doctor. They will assess your particular symptoms and history, and discuss testing options with you.
For more information about heart disease and cholesterol, visit the National Heart Foundation of Australia.
Our Cholesterol Test Service
The MyHealthTest Cholesterol Test is a simple, at-home fingerprick blood test that measures trigycerides and total cholesterol in your blood.
Generally, people younger than 45 should have their cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked every five years.
However, it’s recommended that adults over 45 or those younger than 45 with family history of heart disease get tested every year.
Additionally, if you start taking cholesterol-lowering medicines, your doctor may ask you to take more frequent tests so they can check if the medicine is working properly.
For our fingerprick blood test, we only need a few spots of blood placed onto a special collection card that you mail back to our Australian pathology lab. We send the results directly to you (via a secure online portal) and you can share and discuss these results with your doctor.
This fingerprick blood testing service is a confidential and convenient alternative to visiting and having blood taken at your local pathology centre. Our method of dried blood spot sampling has been extensively validated and is comparable to testing with traditional whole blood samples. So, you can rest assured that you’ll get accurate, reliable results.
If your trigycerides and total cholesterol are raised, your healthcare provider can discuss the options available to best manage your health based on your particular circumstances.
What will the cholesterol test show?
The MyHealthTest cholesterol test will give you two measures of the fats in your blood – total cholesterol and triglycerides.
This dried blood spot 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.
If you are using lifestyle changes or medication to try to lower your cholesterol level you should see your doctor for repeat tests to monitor your levels over time.
If your levels are above the healthy range or if you have any concerns please speak to your doctor or other healthcare provider.
What can affect the results of this test?
Cholesterol and triglyceride levels can naturally vary widely from day to day. 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.
It’s important to note that blood test results from different laboratories can and do vary. This should be considered if you’re comparing your MyHealthTest results to those from other labs.
Who should not use this test?
Children generally don’t need to be tested for cholesterol unless they have diabetes.
Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about cholesterol tests or using this test service.