Convenient Lab Screenings

Health and fitness experts agree that if there's a secret to "living long and prospering," it's making a long-term resolution to eat sensibly, work out and receive regular checkups. Health awareness is the first step, and Northern Nevada Medical Center actively pursues higher community wellness standards by providing regular health fair events.

Northern Nevada, with its laboratory partner Associated Pathologists Laboratories, offers low-cost health checks from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month in the hospital's first floor lobby.

Cholesterol screenings include lipid profiles with cholesterol and HDL/LDL and ratios and lipid profiles with blood chemistry panels. Fasting for 12 to 14 hours is required for best results in cholesterol/lipid screenings.


Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance used to build and maintain cells, manufacture hormones and aid in food digestion. The liver makes or recirculates 75 percent of the cholesterol in the body. Certain foods from animals, including eggs, fatty meats, butter and whole milk, lead to a buildup of fatty deposits on artery walls. Buildup in the blood vessels to the heart can stop the flow of blood and result in a heart attack.

U.S. government health experts have established the cholesterol count of 200 mg/dL or below as desirable. A count of 200 to 239 mg/dL is considered borderline-high, placing the individual at increased risk for developing coronary heart disease. High blood cholesterol of 240 mg/dL and above indicates a high risk for developing heart disease. Individuals with these results should see a doctor for a complete medical evaluation.

Cholesterol travels through the blood in tiny carriers, low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). High levels of LDL are associated with a higher likelihood of blocked arteries.

High-density lipoproteins (HDLs), conversely, are carriers which actually protect against heart disease by carrying cholesterol away from the arterial wall to the liver where it's available for reuse. The ratio of "good" (HDL) cholesterol to "bad" (LDL) cholesterol is an important indicator of coronary functioning.

LDL and HDL are two ways the body packages lipids — fatty substances in the blood. Cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides, a type of blood fat resulting if more calories are consumed than used by the body, are all included in lipid profiles.