Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s found in all of the cells in your body. HDL is known as the good cholesterol because it carries LDL, triglycerides, and harmful fats and returns them to your liver for processing.
A high-density lipoprotein (HDL) test measures the level of good cholesterol in your blood. The body is made up mostly of LDL cholesterol. LDL is considered bad cholesterol because high levels in the body can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. This can result in heart disease or a stroke.
You may be instructed not taking certain medications for a short period or fasting for up to 12 hours before the test.The HDL test is quick and relatively painless. A healthcare provider will draw a blood sample using a needle. You’ll feel the sting of the needle where the blood sample is taken. Some tests, such as home tests, only need a drop of blood taken using a small needle called a lancet.
Optimal Levels of HDL cholesterol are over 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). HDL levels that are below 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women indicate an increased risk of heart disease.