Cholesterol plays an important role in the general function of the body, however too much can increase your risk of stroke or heart attack. Blood tests to check your levels of good or bad cholesterol can check levels within the blood and identify risks to your health.
For example, LDL cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits inside your arteries causing heart disease, heart attack and stroke, whilst the HDL molecule transports cholesterol and fatty deposits out of the blood stream to the liver, to be broken down and removed – meaning you should be aiming for low LDL and high HDL overall.
Having high cholesterol produces no initial symptoms so the only way to check your health is with a blood test. Cholesterol levels can be easily lowered by stopping smoking, improving your diet, doing more physical activity - but you need to know your levels first.