New Guidance For Assessment Of Lipids

Non-fasting specimens are now acceptable

Fasting specimens have traditionally been used for the formal assessment of lipid status (total, LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides).1,2

In 2016, the European Atherosclerosis Society and the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine released a joint consensus statement that recommends the routine use of non-fasting specimens for the assessment of lipid status.2

Large population-based studies were reviewed which showed that for most subjects the changes in plasma lipids and lipoproteins values following food intake were not clinically significant.

Maximal mean changes at 1–6 hours after habitual meals were found to be: +0.3 mmol/L for triglycerides; -0.2 mmol/L for total cholesterol; -0.2 mmol/L for LDL cholesterol; -0.2 mmol/L for calculated non-HDL cholesterol and ...


  1. Rifai N, Young IS, Nordestgaard BG, Wierzbicki AS, Vesper H, Mora S, et al. Non-fasting Sample for the Determination of Routine Lipid Profile: Is It an Idea Whose Time Has Come? Clin Chem. 2016 Mar; 62(3): 428-35. DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2015.247866
  2. Nordestgaard BG, Langsted A, Mora S, Kolovou G, Baum H, Bruckert E, et al. Fasting Is Not Routinely Required for Determination of a Lipid Profile: Clinical and Laboratory Implications Including Flagging at Desirable Concentration Cutpoints -A Joint Consensus Statement from the European Atherosclerosis Society and European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Clin Chem. 2016 Jul; 62(7): 930-46. DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2016.258897
  3. National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance. Absolute cardiovascular disease management. Quick reference guide for health professionals. 2012. Available from:

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