MEASURE LESS OFTEN
ANCHOR LEAD: IT MAY NOT BE NECESSARY TO REPEAT CHOLESTEROL MEASUREMENTS OFTEN, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, total triglycerides. These are numbers many people obsess over, worrying about what they portend for heart disease risk. But now a new study suggests that cholesterol profiles need to be done less often, since there’s quite a bit of variation related to diet and other factors. Roger Blumenthal, director of the Cicarrone Center for Preventive Cardiology at Johns Hopkins, agrees.
BLUMENTHAL: We know that there’s a lot of fluctuation in cholesterol measurement, both based on what a person’s eaten in the last day or two as well as some laboratory variation, and most of that variation occurs in the triglyceride levels. We talk about the triglycerides are the blood fats. So recent data suggests that people don’t need to have their lipid profiles measured as frequently and really an average of measurements done perhaps at a six to nine month interval may be just as good. :29
Blumenthal says measurements may need to be done more often when someone begins statin therapy or another medication. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.