Fasting before blood lipid tests may be unnecessary

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Fasting prior to blood lipid tests appears to have limited association with lipid subclass levels, suggesting that fasting for routine lipid level determinations may be unnecessary.

?Although current guidelines recommend measuring lipid levels in a fasting state, recent studies suggest that nonfasting lipid profiles change minimally in response to food intake and may be superior to fasting levels in predicting adverse cardiovascular outcomes,? write Davinder Sidhu, M.D., L.L.B, and Christopher Naugler, M.Sc., M.D., C.C.F.P., F.C.F.P., F.R.C.P.C., with the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The authors conducted a cross-sectional examination of laboratory data, which included fasting duration (in hours) and lipid results, over a 6-month period in 2011 of a large community-based cohort. A total of 209,180 participants (111,048 women) were included in the analysis.

In general, the authors found that among average cholesterol levels, the mean (average) levels of total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) differed little among individuals with various fasting times. Specifically, these levels varied by less than 2 percent for total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol, less than 10 percent for calculated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and by less than 20 percent for triglycerides.

?We found that fasting time showed little association with lipid subclass levels in a large community-based cohort,? the authors conclude. ?This finding suggests that fasting for routine lipid level determinations is largely unnecessary.?

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, USA

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