Cholesterol tests are generally carried out after fasting for about 9 - 12 hours and the blood sample is taken in the morning for best accurate results. However, in the recent past, finger stick tests for cholesterol level readings were introduced where people can test for blood cholesterol levels on the spot using portable machines.
However, the results are sometimes found to be highly inaccurate and unreliable.
The finger test is commonly found in shopping malls and health fairs. In this method, the blood sample is taken from the finger and instantly tested for the cholesterol level readings. However, research indicates that the results may not match with sophisticated and in-depth laboratory testing which is routinely carried out to determine the cholesterol levels. The finger stick test readings may indicate false negative or positive levels of HDL, LDL and triglycerides.
The accuracy of such portable machines highly depends on the quality of instruments, testing quality and the expertise of the operators. Hence, it is better not to believe the results of the finger stick tests completely and undergo routine examination through fasting blood tests by strictly following the instructions to get accurate results.
Based on the readings, your doctor would advise you to alter your lifestyle and dietary habits to keep the cholesterol levels under check. The desirable readings should indicate high amount of HDL cholesterol, low LDL reading and low triglyceride reading. In total, the desirable cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL. If the reading is greater than 240 mg/dL, the person is at high risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attack, stroke and arteries blockage.
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