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Cholesterol Tests (cont.)

What Are the Risks of a Cholesterol Test?

Patient Comments

There is little risk associated with blood tests Bruising at the site where the blood was drawn may occur. This occurs normally any time a vein is damaged. People who are taking blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), apixaban (Eliquis), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), dabigatran (Pradaxa), clopidogrel (Plavix), or prasugrel (Effient) may need to hold extra pressure at the puncture site to allow the bleeding to stop.

Rarely, an infection may occur. This may present with pain, redness, swelling, and streaking up the arm towards the armpit.

Some people may feel lightheaded during or after having a blood sample taken. This is due to a vasovagal reaction, or near faint, in which the heart rate slows and blood vessels dilate (due to stimulation of the vagus nerve). This passes very quickly and is usually treated by lying down and resting for a few minutes. This near faint is normal, and not uncommon.

When to Seek Medical Care

Cholesterol control is just one of the many opportunities that exist to minimize the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Your health care practitioner will be able to discuss the benefits and risks of diet, exercise, and medication in the lifelong control of cholesterol in the body.


American Heart Association. What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean.

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health. Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/12/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cholesterol Test:

Cholesterol Test - Experience

Please describe your experience with having a cholesterol test.

Cholesterol Test - Fasting

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Cholesterol Test - Charts and Levels

Are your cholesterol levels high? If so, how is it being treated?

Cholesterol Test - Risks

Please share any side effects you have experienced from a cholesterol test.

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