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VLDL Cholesterol

Does this test have other names?

Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol test

What is this test?

This test measures the amount of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) in your blood.

VLDL cholesterol is a type of blood fat. It's considered one of the "bad" forms of cholesterol, along with LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. This is because high levels cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to a heart attack. Sixty percent of a VLDL particle is a triglyceride,

This test is usually used along with a series of other tests in a general lipid profile to screen for cardiovascular disease (CVD). High levels of VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood may mean you are at risk for CVD. People who are obese also have higher levels of VLDL cholesterol.

Why do I need this test?

You may have this test if you are at risk for CVD. Risk factors for CVD include:

  • Advancing age

  • Gender – men are at higher risk

  • Family history

  • High blood pressure

  • Obesity and overweight

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Diabetes

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your doctor may also order these other tests at the same time to check your cholesterol levels:

  • Total cholesterol

  • LDL ("bad") cholesterol

  • HDL ("good") cholesterol

  • Triglycerides

You may also need these tests:

  • Electrocardiogram

  • Stress test

  • Echocardiogram

  • Cardiac catheterization

What do my test results mean?

Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your health care provider.

Results are given in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Normal levels of VLDL are 5 to 40 mg/dL. If you have higher levels of VLDL cholesterol, you may have CVD.

How is this test done?

The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.

Does this test pose any risks?

Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.

What might affect my test results?

No other factors affect your test results.

How do I get ready for this test?

You may need to fast for 12 to 14 hours before this test. In addition, be sure your doctor knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.