Testing Cholesterol at Home
Just yesterday I got my first home cholesterol and triglyceride test results. It took three weeks for them to get back to me after I mailed them in. That's acceptable.
But I have been waiting years to be able to check these levels at home. That's not good.
The new Check Up America test from Home Access Health Corp. in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, is the only way that we can check our cholesterol levels -- total, HDL (good), and LDL (bad) -- at home. With the same blood sample it also checks our triglyceride levels and A1C.
The blood sample is a normal fingerstick rather than the large vials that labs will draw for the same tests. The blood sample that this new test requires is, however, a lot larger than what we are used to getting. It takes 70 microliters.
Previously the only way that we had to check some of our cholesterol levels at home was the unsatisfactory CardioChek device from Polymer Technology Systems in Indianapolis, Indiana. Using different strips, that device can test total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and triglycerides. But the company no longer sells strips to test LDL (bad) cholesterol or A1C.
From everything I know, the Home Access Health tests are as accurate as we can get. Its test is more reliable that my hospital's test or that of just about any hospital. The NGSP certified its A1C test as having documented traceability to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial reference method, which established relationships between A1C levels and risk for complications of diabetes. The DCCT method is the gold standard for reliable A1C testing. For more information, please see the 1999 article I wrote for the American Diabetes Association.
"Home Access differs greatly from other methods due to our scientific breakthrough technology that allows the sample to separate the serum from the whole blood," J.D. Kirchberg, Home Access Health's vice president for sales and marketing, told me. "This method provides a much higher level of accuracy and this had been demonstrated in our clinical trials in comparison to venous draws."
My Results from Home Access Health
While I would have liked to have received my cholesterol and A1C levels sooner, J.D. tells me that normally I would have received them much quicker. Maybe the delay was at the post office, which also didn't deliver the mail for the two days before my results arrived. Home Access Health is also setting up procedures to make the results available by email, which of course is a lot faster.
This diabetes/cholesterol test is available from Home Access Health. The cost is $59.95.