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Recommended Routine Blood Tests

Lipid Blood Tests

Total Cholesterol:
 Associated with risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

Target Values:
. 75 – 169 mg/dl for ages 20 and younger
. 100-199 mg/dl for ages over 21

Preparation:
The test could be carried out anytime of the day without fasting. If the test is performed as a part of total lipid profile, 12 hours fasting (no food or drink, except water) is required. It is recommended to wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury or pregnancy to get more accurate results of cholesterol levels.

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) “ Friendly Cholesterol”
HDL transports the excess cholesterol in the blood to the liver.
High levels of HDL are good news! The higher the levels are, the lesser is the risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease.

Target Values:
. More than 40 mg/dl

Preparation:
The test could be carried out anytime of the day without fasting. If the test is performed as a part of total lipid profile, 12 hours fasting (no food or drink, except water) is required. It is recommended to wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury or pregnancy to get more accurate results of HDL levels.

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) “ Undesired Cholesterol”:
LDL takes cholesterol from the blood and allows it to enter into the cells.
Increased levels are associated with risk of heart and blood vessel disease, including coronary artery disease, heart attack and death. Management of high LDL levels is a big target for cholesterol-lowering medications.

Target Values:
. Less than 70 mg/dl for individuals with heart or blood vessel disease and individuals with increased risk of heart disease
. Less than 100 mg/dl for increased risk of heart disease
. Less than 130 mg/dl for individuals with low risk of coronary artery disease

Preparation:
Sample should be drawn after 12 hours fasting (no food or drink, except water). It is recommended to wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury or pregnancy to get more accurate results of LDL levels.

Triglycerides (TG):
Increased in diabetic or obese individuals. Eating simple sugars and drinking alcohol elevate the levels of triglycerides. It is related to heart and blood vessel disease.

Target Values:
. Less than 150 mg/dl

Preparation:
Sample should be drawn after 12 hours fasting (no food or drink, except water). It is recommended to wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury or pregnancy to get more accurate results of triglyceride levels.

Blood Tests for Patients on Anticoagulants

Patients on anticoagulants need to have their blood tested for bleeding times to ensure that those anticoagulants are taken safely and not causing any risk for bleeding.

Prothrombin Time:
A test that determines the time needed for your blood to clot.

Target Values:
Normal range for adults: 9.9 – 13 seconds

Preparation:
The test could be carried out any time of the day without fasting.

International Normalized Ratio (INR):

Target Values:
Normal range for adults: 0.9 – 1.2

Preparation:
The test could be carried out any time of the day without fasting.

Assessing Enzymes & Proteins in Blood

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT, or SGPT)
It is one of the liver enzymes. Cholesterol-lowering medications may raise the levels of this enzyme. It is used to evaluate liver disease or hepatitis

Target Values:
5-50 U/L

Preparation:
The test could be carried out anytime of the day without fasting. 

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST, or SGOT)
This is a liver enzyme that’s is found in blood stream following injury or cell death. Increased levels are seen with liver disease, myocardial infarction (MI) and some medications, including cholesterol- lowering medications. 

Target Values:
7-40 mg/dl

Preparation:
The test could be carried out anytime of the day without fasting. 

Creatinine
Illness, kidney disease, muscle injury and some medications cause elevation of creatinie

Target Values:
0.7 – 1.4 mg/dl

Preparation:
The test could be carried out anytime of the day without fasting. 

Creatnine Kinase (CK)
It is a late marker for detection of heart attack. Other conditions that may cause elvation of this enzyme are liver and kidney disease, pernicious and megaloblastic anemias, malignancy, progressive muscular dystrophy, and pulmonary emboli.

Target Values:
100 – 220 U/L 

Preparation:
The test could be carried out anytime of the day without fasting.

Myoglobin (Mb)
Myoglobin is a muscular protein that could be elevated with muscle injury or inflammation.

Target Values:
30 – 90 μg/ml

Preparation:
The test could be carried out anytime of the day without fasting.  Intense exercise before the test could increase the myoglobin levels

Troponin T (cTNT)
This is a protein that is related to contraction of heart muscle and is a marker for heart muscle damage.

Target Values:
0.0 – 0.10 μg/ml

Assessing Waste Products in Blood

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN):
BUN could be also increased in individuals on high-protein diets and/or hard exercise

Target Values:
. Male: 10 – 25 mg/dl
. Female: 8 – 25 mg/dl

Serum Creatinine (CR): Evaluates kidney function

Target Values:
. 0.7 – 1.4 mg/dl

Uric Acid:
Increased levels are found in people with gout, arthritis and some metabolic disorders.

Target Values:
. Male: 3 – 8 mg/dl
. Female: 3 – 7 mg/dl

Urine Albumin Creatinine Ratio (U Alb:Cr):
Detects protein in urine. A small amount of protein in urine indicates risk for heart and blood vessel disease.

Target Values:
. Less than 30 mg/g 

Blood Tests Assessing The Risk of Coronary Artery Disease

Lipoprotein a (Lp (a)):
Although this blood protein’s function is not clearly known, it is known to be associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke

Target Values:
. Recommended levels for adults: less than 30 mg/dl

Preparation:
Sample should be drawn after 12 hours fasting (no food or drink, except water). It is recommended to wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury or pregnancy to get more accurate results of lipoprotein (a) levels.

Apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1):
Decreased Apo A1 levels are associated with increased risk of early cardiovascular disease. It is more common in obese, inactive individuals, who consume high-fat diet.

Target Values:
. Recommended levels for adults: more than 123 mg/dl

Preparation:
Sample should be drawn after 12 hours fasting (no food or drink, except water). It is recommended to wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury or pregnancy to get more accurate results of Apo A1 levels.

Fibrinogen:
This blood protein induces the formation of a blood clot. However, high levels of this protein increase the risk for heart attack and vascular disease.

Target Values: 
Less than 300 mg/dl

Preparation:
Sample should be drawn after 12 hours fasting (no food or drink, except water). It is recommended to wait at least two months after a heart attack, surgery, infection, injury or pregnancy to get more accurate results of fibrinogen levels.

Complete Blood Count with Differential

A group of blood tests that provide information about the components of the blood including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. CBC test results are helpful in diagnosing diseases and predicting their severity.

CBC can be performed anytime of the day without fasting

Hemoglobin:

Normal Range:
. Males: 13.5 – 17.5 g/dl
. Females: 12.0 – 16.0 g/dl

Hematocrit:  (Percent of total blood volume made up of red cells)

Normal Range:
. Males: 40-55 %
. Females:  36-48%

Platelet Count:

Normal range in adults: 150,000 – 400,000/mL
White blood cell  (WBC) count:
Normal range in adults: 5,000 – 10,000/ml

Blood Sugar Tests

Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS):
This test measures blood sugar levels. High levels indicate diabetes and insulin resistance, in which the body cannot handle sugar properly.

Target Values:
. Less than 100 mg/dl = normal
. Between 110 – 125 mg/dl = impaired fasting glucose (prediabetes)
. Greater that 126 mg/dl on two or more samples = diabetes

Preparation: 
The test requires a 12 hours fast. You should wait to eat or take insulin or oral hypoglycemic until the test has been drawn, unless told otherwise.

Glycosylated Hemoglobin or Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C):
Determines average blood sugar levels over the preceding 90 days. Elevated levels are associated with prediabetes and diabetes.

Target Values:
. 5.7 – 6.4 % indicates increased risk for development of diabetes (prediabetes). Lifestyle modification would be beneficial
.  6.5 % or more is considered diabetic

Preparation: 
The test can be measured anytime of the day without fasting.