Several different tests are done on the blood in order to have a more complete view of the patient's heart health.
Total Cholesterol (TC): While cholesterol, a type of fat, is needed by your body to maintain healthy cells, too much can be very dangerous because it can clog arteries. This test looks at the overall level of cholesterol in your body.
High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C): This is known as "good cholesterol" because it moves excess cholesterol out of the blood and into the liver. The higher this level is the better, as a high HDL level can indicate a lower risk for heart disease.
Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C): This is known as "bad cholesterol" because it moves cholesterol from the blood into cells, and many doctors treat this type of cholesterol with medication in an attempt to lower a patient's risk of heart disease.
Triglycerides (TG): This type of fat that is found in the blood increases after eating foods high in sugar and fat or drinking alcohol. The level of triglycerides is also typically higher in obese patients and patients with liver or thyroid problems. A high triglyceride level is indicative of a high risk of coronary heart disease.
Non-High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (non-HDL-C): This number is calculated by subtracting the HDL-C level from the total cholesterol number. The remaining number is the level of atherogenic cholesterol (cholesterol that can clog or narrow arteries).