Screening for Lipid Disorders

Screening is done to find a health problem early and treat it. Tests are given to people who do not have symptoms but who may be at risk for the health problem.

Screening Guidelines

Guidelines can differ between groups based on age and risk factors. It is important to talk to your doctor about your lipid levels and overall risk of heart disease.


  • Starting at age 20—Screen for lipid levels and heart disease risk factors every 4 to 6 years.
  • Aged 40 to 75 years—A 10-year assessment of heart disease risk should also be done. Your doctor may talk with you about starting medicine based on the results.


Screening for children should be done at 9 to 11 years old and 17 to 21 years old. It may be done at other ages if there are other factors such as family history, diabetes, or weight problems.

Screening Tests

A sample of blood will be taken to check the levels of:

  • Good, bad, and total cholesterol
  • Triglycerides


Grundy SM, Stone NJ, Bailey AL, et al. 2018 AHA/ACC/AACVPR/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA guideline on the management of blood cholesterol. Circulation. 2018;Nov 10 [Epub ahead of print]. Available at:
Hypercholesterolemia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated April 16, 2019. Accessed May 29, 2019.
Hypertriglyceridemia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated November 28, 2018. Accessed May 29, 2019.
NHLBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed May 29, 2019.
Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 5/29/2019

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