Hate to fast all morning just to stand in a long line at the lab when it’s time to test your blood lipid panels?
According to a mega-study looking at over 200,000 patient test results, the fast might not me necessary at all.
One of the top reasons patients give their doctors when they are questioned as to why they never went in for the cholesterol tests that were ordered is because they don’t want to have to fast for 9-12 hours only to sit in a crowded waiting room for another hour or two.
Patient falls in the laboratory have even been blamed on the syncope, or fainting, due to drop in blood sugar that is the result of the fasting.
But is the fasting even necessary?
Canadian researchers that were considering the necessity of making patients fast before a cholesterol test looked at the test results of more than 200,000 patients and the various reported fasting times from 0 to 12 hours.
What they found was that there was no statistical difference in the accuracy of a test that occurred after a 9 to 12 hour fast, as is recommended, and no fasting at all, suggesting the practice is likely outdated and worthy of abandoning.
It is theorized that not making patients fast will make it more likely that they will actually show up for the tests in the first place, and that the results will not be significantly impacted if someone comes in a few hours after lunchtime instead of after a 12-hour fast.