The days of fasting before a cholesterol test are over

The province mandated labs to change their requisition forms by the end of 2018, based on Canadian Cardiovascular Guidelines, to indicate fasting is no longer required for lipid testing.

The change is big. More than 1.2 million lipid profiles are done annually in BC. The change means more convenience for patients. For diabetics, the rules can reduce potentially risky drops in blood sugar levels fasting can cause.

Evidence shows results from non-fasting lipid tests better predict heart attack, stroke and total mortality versus fasting results, since they capture other harmful lipids present after eating.