Clinical utility of a fingerstick technology to identify individuals with abnormal blood lipids and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels

Am J Health Promot. Mar-Apr 2009;23(4):279-82. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.071221140.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of a commonly used fingerstick technology to identify individuals with abnormal blood levels of total cholesterol (TC), calculated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) compared with a standardized laboratory.

Methods: Participants (n = 250; mean age, 48.0 +/- 13.5 years; 66% female; 36% nonwhite) were eligible for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Blood lipids and hsCRP were measured simultaneously by (1) fingerstick analyzed by Cholestech LDX analyzers and (2) fresh venous blood that was analyzed by Columbia University General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) Core Laboratory. Pearson correlation coefficients, kappa, sensitivity, and specificity were calculated for fingerstick versus GCRC laboratory values for lipids and hsCRP.

Results: The correlations betweenfingerstick and core laboratory for TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, TG, and hsCRP were .91, .88, .77, .93, and .81, respectively (all p< .01). Sensitivity and specificity of the fingerstick to identify those with abnormal lipids and hsCRP > or = 1 mg/L were all > or = 75%.

Conclusion: Fingerstick screening is accurate and has good clinical utility to identify persons with abnormal blood lipids and hsCRP at the point of care in a diverse population that is eligible for primary prevention of CVD. These results may not be generalizable to patients at high risk for CVD or who have known hyperlipidemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Female
  • Fingers / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phlebotomy / methods*


  • Lipids
  • C-Reactive Protein