This test measure fats in the bloodstream. One of these fats, cholesterol, is produced naturally by the liver to make cell membranes and some hormones. A little goes a long way — too much can block blood vessels, causing a heart attack or stroke.
Who needs it Most doctors recommend a cholesterol screening every three to five years for adults over age 20 whose levels are normal. If you have high cholesterol or other risk factors for heart disease, you should have your cholesterol checked yearly.
How it’s done A fingerstick blood sample is sent to a lab for analysis.
What the results mean