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S -Lipidit

S -Lipidit

Lipids are fats and fat-like substances found in the blood and all cells. The test estimates their amount and profile in the bloodstream. Lipids are absolutely critical to the body and cell membrane structures, but an excessive amount in the bloodstream can predispose to coronary artery disease and increase the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.

When should the test be measured?

Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, low level of physical exercise, smoking, and genetic factors increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The measurement of the lipid profile of the blood is used in quantifying the risk. The test is often included in health check-ups, and other cholesterol levels are also usually measured at the same time.

In particular, LDL cholesterol has been found to be particularly harmful for people who have already been diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Adults should have their cholesterol tested once every 3–5 years at the minimum. In the case of an elevated level or an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, the test should be taken more frequently.

If it is decided to treat elevated cholesterol with medicines, the cholesterol levels are usually checked 1–2 months after starting the medication. Once a suitable therapy has been found, the measurement is taken approximately once a year.

What does the test measure?

Lipids (lipos is Greek for fat) are critical to the body as building blocks for cells and as a source of energy.

Cholesterol resembles fat in terms of its composition; it is not soluble in water. Therefore, cholesterol travels in the bloodstream bound to transport proteins known as lipoproteins. Some of these proteins (LDL, low-density lipoprotein) transport cholesterol into tissues and vein walls, while other proteins (HDL, high-density lipoprotein) carry cholesterol from tissues and the bloodstream to the liver. Lipoproteins also take care of transporting the body’s fat-soluble vitamins.

Besides function, LDL cholesterol differs from the other protein class, HDL, by density, and the proteins can be separated at a laboratory based on this difference. The origins of the word cholesterol are in the Greek words for bile (khole) and solid (stereos).

Cholesterol is found in almost all of the cells of the body and body fluids. Cholesterol is needed as the building blocks of cells and in the production of fluids secreted from the gallbladder. It is also a precursor of certain hormones and vitamin D. Some of the cholesterol in the body is obtained from food, but the majority is produced in the liver and other tissues.

Recommended target value:

  • Total cholesterol below 5.0 mmol/l
  • LDL cholesterol <3.0 mmol/l
  • HDL cholesterol <1.2 mmol/l in women and <1.0 mmol/l in men
  • Triglycerides <1.7 mmol/l

With regard to lipids, target values are used instead of regular reference values.

The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol should be a maximum of 4. LDL transports cholesterol into tissues and also vein walls. The higher the amount of LDL cholesterol, the more cholesterol accumulates in tissues. Therefore, LDL cholesterol is often a better indicator of the risk of atherosclerosis than total cholesterol. LDL cholesterol has been found to be particularly harmful for people who have already been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, stroke, or intermittent claudication, or who have type 2 diabetes.

A high HDL level is better than a low level. Low HDL cholesterol increases the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. Abnormally high levels, however, do not protect from such diseases.

Elevated blood triglyceride increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The association is not as clear as with cholesterol, however. The blood triglyceride level can be influenced through diet much more effectively than the cholesterol level. Therefore, a change of diet is the primary treatment for elevated blood triglyceride levels.

Dyslipidaemia is a condition in which the blood LDL cholesterol level is elevated (above 3.0 mmol/l), triglyceride concentration is elevated (above 1.7 mmol/l), HDL cholesterol is low (below 1.0 mmol/l in men, below 1.2 mmol/l in women), or a combination of these.

Familiar hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a hereditary disease in which the cholesterol levels in the bloodstream are abnormally high. The disease is estimated to affect approximately 1 in 500 Finns. In FH disease, total cholesterol level is typically very high and often 8–15 mmol/l, resulting in an approximately 10-fold risk of heart disease compared to the normal population.

Please contact your physician or other healthcare professional if you suspect an illness or need help interpreting the results.

For an analysis of the results, see the individual tests:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

For an analysis of the results, see the individual tests:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

Long-term blood sugar Hb1ac (link). This test measures the long-term sugar in the blood, and latent diabetes can be diagnosed based on it.

Terveyskirjasto health library: Kolesteroli (fP-Kol)

SYNLAB test list: Cholesterol (2095 fS-Kol, 4515 fP-Kol)

Mustajoki P. Veren triglyseridit (rasvat) Duodecim terveyskirjasto.

SYNLAB: Triglycerides (2770 fS-Trigly, 4568 fP-Trigly)


Fasting is not required

This examination does not require fasting