To use a cholesterol home test kit, a person draws a bit of blood by pricking his finger using the lancet and puts the sample blood on the test strip, says WebMD. The person then waits until the strip changes colors and compares the resulting color with the color guide.
Cholesterol home test kits typically come with test strips, a lancet and a color guide, states WebMD. The final color shown on the test strip reveals the amount of cholesterol present in the sample blood. Some test kits include an electronic meter that offers similar functions as diabetes blood glucose meters. The electronic device is equipped with a tiny computer that automatically computes cholesterol levels. Cholesterol home test kits with an electronic meter are more expensive then conventional paper test strips, but they are recommended for individuals who plan to check their cholesterol levels regularly.
The reliability of home test kits largely depends on the manufacturer, notes WebMD. While several cholesterol home test kit makers claim an accuracy rate above 95 percent, people should view the results as approximations and should not forego regular assessments by a health care professional.
Measuring a person’s cholesterol levels helps doctors assess the individual’s risk for heart conditions, explains WebMD. Doctors also examine other factors, including age, gender, race, blood pressure and medical history.