[A fasting lipid profile is not a necessity in majority of cases]

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2020 May 20;164:D4394.
[Article in Dutch]


For decades, a fasting lipid profile was required to predict the cardiovascular risk of patients. This was due to the assumption that if low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is calculated with the Friedewald Formula, LDL-C is dependent on the triglycerides concentration, which can vary after fat consumption. However, several prospective studies show minimal differences of lipid values in fasting and non-fasting lipid profiles. There is also evidence that a non-fasting lipid profile is equally accurate in the prediction of cardiovascular risk. Only in select cases, such as non-fasting triglycerides > 8 mmol/l (708 mg/dl), it is advised to obtain a fasting lipid profile. In conclusion, it is not a necessity to obtain a fasting lipid profile for determining cardiovascular risk. This has many advantages for patients, laboratories and physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Chemical Analysis / methods*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Fasting / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides