Fasting Probably Not Needed Before Checking Lipids

A cross-sectional study (LN Anderson et al. J Pediatr 2017; 180: 47-52) of 2713 children extends prior observations that there is little evidence supporting the need for fasting prior to measurement of lipids.

Prior blog on this topic: Is Fasting Needed Before Checking Lipids

This study showed that fasting duration (0-5 hrs) was not significantly associated with total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, or triglycerides. This is most evident on the graphs on their Figure.

In the discussion, the authors note that the NHANES study 1999-2008 had similar results for the younger children.  Overall, there were 12,744 children aged 3-17 years;  80% fasted at least 8 hrs.  In this study, fasting did have a small effect on lipids, but among children 3-5 yrs, only LDL was statistically affected by fasting status.

My take: Based on this study and others, fasting seems to have only a small effect on lipid measurement and for routine screening, it is probably not needed.

Yosemite Natl Park

Yosemite Natl Park


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