The frequency of cholesterol testing depends on the patient's prior cholesterol level, health problems and chance of heart disease, states WebMD. Adults with coronary artery disease or diabetes should undergo a cholesterol test at least once per year. An individual's doctor can best determine when a cholesterol test is appropriate.
Various health organizations differ in their recommendations for cholesterol testing, according to WebMD. Some maintain that adults should have cholesterol tests once every four to six years, while others base their recommendations on risk factors for heart disease and age. Public cholesterol tests can be unreliable and often vary in the types of blood samples utilized, equipment available and competence of the technicians.