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Key points

Guidance for assessment of lipid status

  • Locally tested in South Australia.
  • For most patients, a non-fasting specimen is acceptable for the assessment of lipid status.
  • Lipid testing on more than one occasion may be necessary to establish a patient’s baseline lipid status and for some patients a fasting specimen may be required.
  • Assessment of lipid status may not be valid if testing is performed in the presence of intercurrent illness.
  • Non-HDL cholesterol is a clinically useful marker for predicting cardiovascular risk.
  • New lipid reference limits and target levels for treatment are under consideration but these have yet to be formally endorsed.


Further information

  1. Absolute cardiovascular disease risk calculator is available at
  2. If familial hypercholesterolaemia is suspected, e.g. LDL cholesterol persistently above 5.0 mmol/L in adults, then advice about diagnosis and management is available at
  3. Clinpath Pathology will provide a further update once an Australia-wide consensus concerning lipid assessment has been achieved
Updated Tuesday, 06 July 2021