Cholesterol Advice

Cholesterol Screening Tests for Old Age People

Cholesterol is a problem that can start as early as childhood and continues up till old age. Thus, it is not just the children or young adults who need a cholesterol screening test. People in old age too need a cholesterol screening test at regular intervals.

The need for cholesterol screening test in old age

A high level of cholesterol in the blood leads to deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. This cholesterol hardens over time and turns into plaque. The deposition of plaque in the arteries narrows the arteries and thus reduces the flow of oxygen to the blood. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis further can lead to various heart diseases and can even result in a heart attack amounting to death. To prevent heart diseases and fatal consequences such as a cardiac arrest, it is important that cholesterol levels be checked on time with the help of a cholesterol screening test.

Cholesterol screening test recommendations for people in old age

As far as the cholesterol screening test in old age is concerned, there are two schools of thoughts. One is the American Heart Association and the other set of recommendations is proposed collectively by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American College of Preventive Medicine.

The American Heart Association or the AHA recommends a fasting lipoprotein profile for adults over 20 years of age once in five years. The fasting lipoprotein profile test requires individuals to not eat anything for 9 to 12 years before taking the test. This test helps in measuring the LDL or low density lipoprotein, HDL or high density lipoprotein, triglycerides and overall cholesterol levels.

If the results of the test are low or your lipids levels are normal each time, then you can increase the time period between tow tests. However, if your lipid levels turn out to be high, you should opt for a screening test more frequently.

On the other hand the recommendations of various other bodies are as follows:

* The fasting lipoprotein profile test is not required if you do not have any risk factors such as obesity or diabetes.
* People in adult age should only begin with the fasting lipoprotein profile test in middle age i.e. after 35 or 40.
* Men at the age of 35 and women at the age of 45 need regular cholesterol screening tests.
* Women are more likely to die of a heart disease as compared to men in their later life. Thus, women in their elder age need more frequent cholesterol screening tests as compared to men.
* After the age of 65, one can stop the cholesterol screening tests as the lipids do not increase after this age.
* Frequent testing is required if you are overweight, have a family history of heart diseases, smoke or suffer from hypertension.