When we hear the word cholesterol, we often associate it with high blood pressure and heart disease. But actually, it is not bad. In fact, we need some cholesterol at some point. Cholesterol helps in a number of body functions which includes the production of hormones which are very important for growth. The only problem starts when you have excessive “bad” fats in your body.
The most commonly requested cholesterol is the Lipid Panel Blood Test which basically measures all the cholesterol components, whether “good” or “bad”.
Patients are recommended not to eat or drink anything, including water for 9 to 12 hours prior to blood extraction to get the most accurate results.
Those who are required to undergo this test are concerned about the cost of cholesterol test, not knowing that they can come at affordable prices and can even be free if you look into a lot of possible sources.
Average Cost of Cholesterol Test
The average cost of in-clinic cholesterol testing is around $50 to $100. This typically includes the test itself plus the clinic visit cost.
At CVS Pharmacy, cholesterol screening ranges from $59 to $69.
Request A Test offers Lipid Panel-Cholesterol Test at only $29.
Kaiser Permanente, on the other hand, estimates cholesterol test price or specifically the lipid panel test cost at $37 as of January 2017.
At home test usually costs around $15 to 25, while some tests that need to be shipped to laboratories for evaluation typically cost between to $200.
When results eventually show you have high cholesterol levels, additional costs would include the following, on top of the cholesterol test price:
- Doctor’s fee for the consultation discussing the treatment needed to put your cholesterol levels in check.
- Maintenance medicines may be recommended to aid in lowering your blood cholesterol like those included in “statins” family like simvastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, among others.
Where to Shop for Cholesterol Tests
Cholesterol tests or lipid profile testing are usually part of annual physical examination in most companies so you can get it for free through your employer or through your health insurance.
It is also included in the long lists of laboratory and diagnostic procedures done in various clinics around the country. Pharmacies also offer these tests as part of promotional campaigns of pharmaceutical companies.
Amazon offers cholesterol home test kits ranging from $21.41 to $151.75
Factors Affecting Cost of Cholesterol Test
Simple as it seems but the cost of cholesterol tests are also affected by some factors including:
- Insurance – most blood works are covered by health insurance companies.
- Location – different areas have varying rates of cholesterol testing.
- Where the test is done – whether you prefer to have your cholesterol checked in a hospital, clinic, pharmacy, health bazaars or at home using self-test kits have an impact on the cost of cholesterol testing.
What is Included?
The cholesterol test price usually includes measurement of the following blood components:
- Total Cholesterol– this is measure of all cholesterol components in the blood.
- Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)– these are considered the bad cholesterols that need to be controlled or moderated as they contribute to building up in the blood vessels.
- High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)– these are the good cholesterols which aid in the removal of excess cholesterol in the blood and transporting it to the liver for the subsequent flushing from the body.
- Triglycerides– these are another type of fat in the blood. The excess number of these can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease.
- Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (VLDL)– These are made up of cholesterol, triglycerides, and proteins. Increased level of these is often a warning sign of increased risk for coronary heart disease.
Home cholesterol test kits usually include portable meter, test strips, lancets used for piercing skin, usually in the tip of finger, and bandage and gauze for cleaning of the pierced area.
Who Should Undergo Blood Cholesterol Test?
We all have cholesterols in our body but who are those who needs monitoring the most?
- According to American Heart Association, generally, all people 20 years or older are recommended to have their cholesterol level checked every four to six years, even though they have not yet been diagnosed with any cardiovascular diseases.
- Bad cholesterols or the LDL are naturally produced by the body. But some people produce more than others when they inherit genes from the family, making you a candidate for regular cholesterol monitoring.
- People who are obese or overweight tend to be an automatic candidate for cholesterol test although it is not always an accurate assumption since a lot of people who are deemed physically fit have been tested to have high cholesterol levels.
- Eating habits play a big part in getting high bad cholesterols. If you are eating a lot of junk foods that contain saturated fats, you are at high risk of cardiovascular disease and therefore should subject yourself to the test.
- If you are a habitual drinker or smoker, your chance of getting high cholesterol are greater than those who are not.