Fasting Before Lipid Panel Unnecessary

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equiring patients to fast for 8 to 12 hours before a lipid panel blood draw is common practice, but fasting adds no clinical value and is an unnecessary burden on patients, researchers said.

Analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey III (NHANES-III) revealed no significant difference between fasting and nonfasting LDL cholesterol levels when it came to predicting all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, New York University associate professor of medicine Sripal Bangalore, MD, and colleagues wrote in Circulation.

The study is not the first to find no benefit for fasting prior to a lipid panel blood draw. Another population analysis, published in Archives of Internal Medicine in 2012, failed to show an impact on lipid panel outcomes associated with the practice, and researchers concluded that fasting for routine lipid levels is “largely unnecessary.”

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