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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Tests, X-Rays & Imaging > Cholesterol Test

Cholesterol Test Cost

How Much Does a Cholesterol Test Cost?

low costPharmacy Test: $5-$25average costAt-Home Test: $15-$50high costPortable Digital Meter: $75-$200
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Cholesterol tests measure the good and bad cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is a wax-like substance that the body uses to function. Too much cholesterol can cause arteries to clog and lead to heart disease. There are several tests to determine cholesterol levels.

Typical costs:

Related articles: Heart Rate Monitor, Heart Stent, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • Cholesterol tests involve a phlebotomist drawing blood from a patient. Typically, a patient will have an elastic band placed around their upper arm to stop blood flow. The needle insertion site is cleaned with alcohol as part of the preparation. A needle is placed in the vein and blood is collected. Lab technicians will examine the blood for cholesterol.
  • Home cholesterol check kits usually include test strips, lancets to pierce the skin, a test kit, gauze and bandages. For home test kits that are sent to a lab, expect to find a blood collection kit and shipping labels or a pre-paid mailer.
  • Cholesterol meters usually include the meter itself and 2-3 test strips.
Additional costs:
  • Portable meters require test strip refills. Test strip packs typically come with 2-3 strips and cost about $10-$20. Walmart[4] sells a two-pack with each pack containing three test strips (six strips total) for about $19.
  • Health fairs often have booths offering free cholesterol testing.
  • Medical insurance may cover the cost of a cholesterol exam. Check with an insurance provider to find specific coverage details.
Shopping for a cholesterol test:
  • Not all over-the-counter cholesterol kits are Food and Drug Administration-approved. The FDA maintains a database[5] of all of its approved products. The FDA warns[6] that while home-use tests are convenient, they should not replace regular visits with a physician.
  • The American Heart Association's cholesterol website[7] provides a wealth of information about cholesterol, its effects, health risks and healthy lifestyles.
  • WebMD[8] provides information to help patients understand cholesterol test results.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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