If you’ve ever had your cholesterol levels tested, you know that there are three numbers you need to be concerned with: your level of HDL (good cholesterol), your level of LDL (bad cholesterol) and your total cholesterol level.
But according to a story released by CBS News today,
” Increasingly, doctors are going beyond standard cholesterol counts, using another test to take a closer look at the bad fats – a count of particles that carry LDL through the blood.” (CBS)
Dr. Michael Davidson, Committee Chair of the National Lipid Association, said the new test is “reasonable to assess which at-risk patients might need to start or intensify cholesterol treatment.” (CBS) This is because, in cases where a patient may have a low level of LDL, the particle level may be high.
Before asking your physician to tack this new test on to your profile, consider the following:
- The meeting of the National Lipid Association in which the new test was deemed to be “reasonable” was paid for by eight pharmaceutical companies, including the makers of the test.
- The new test adds an additional $150-$200 to the cost of a regular lipid profile.
- No major heart organizations recommend the test at this point.
- A look at triglycerides, already a standard part of cholesterol testing, can also reveal hidden risk in a patient whose LDL level is low.