How often should you get a Cholesterol Test?

The American Heart Association endorses the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines on testing standards which are cholesterol levels should be tested starting at age 20 and retested every 5 years after that if the results are normal.  If  your results are abnormal or you are high risk then you should be tested every year.   If you’re on medication to lower your cholesterol then doctors typically will test every 6 months to one year.

High risk factors that should be considered when interpreting your cholesterol test results include age, family history, smoking history and high blood pressure.  Your cholesterol level is just one factor in heart health and all your risk factors should be considered by your doctor.

If you are actively working on reducing your cholesterol levels with healthy lifestyle choices like a heart health diet, exercise and quitting smoking you may want to monitor your cholesterol levels more frequently to track your progress.  A home cholesterol test is available so you can monitor your progress in reducing your cholesterol.

Dr. Matthew Sorrentino, cardiologist,  from the University of Chicago Medical Center summarizes how often you should have your cholesterol tested