(HealthDay News) — Fasting and non-fasting measurements of LDL cholesterol have similar prognostic value for identifying patients at risk for all-cause or cardiovascular mortality, according to a study published online in Circulation.

Bethany Doran, MD, from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of patients participating in the National Health and Nutrition Survey III (1988 to 1994).

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Participants were stratified based on fasting status (≥8 hours or <8 hours). Propensity score matching was used to assemble cohorts (4,299 pairs of fasting and non-fasting individuals) with similar baseline characteristics.

The researchers found that fasting LDL yielded similar prognostic value for all-cause mortality as non-fasting LDL (P=.73). In a Cox proportional hazard model, LDL by fasting status interaction term was not significant (Pinteraction=.11). Similar results were seen for cardiovascular mortality (fasting vs. non-fasting P=.96; Pinteraction=.34).

“National and international agencies should consider re-evaluating the recommendation that patients fast before obtaining a lipid panel,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Doran B et al. Circulation. 2014;doi:10.1161/​CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010001.