Is a nine point difference in cholesterol significant?

Last year’s checkup found my cholesterol a tad above 200, so I decided to watch what I eat more closely. Today it’s back under 200, but I noted from my previous results that I was still nine points lower two years ago.

How significant a difference is that? I know, for example, that weight isn’t a precisely accurate measurement; true in this case as well?

It’s insignificant. More important are your levels of various cholesterol fractions anyway, rather than the total. Cholesterol varies, even in individuals with stable diets and exercise patterns, that’s just life.

Or laboratory variance. :smiley:

That’s about a 5 percent variation which is well within what is called ‘physiologic variation’.

From here (a bit old but still informative):

“The underlying factors of such physiologic variation are poorly understood, although seasonal fluctuations, minor illness, and postural changes at the time of blood sampling have been implicated in causing variations in the serum total cholesterol levels by 3%, 5% and approximately 10% respectively.”

Note this physiologic variation doesn’t include the additional variation (at least another 5 percent) introduced by the ‘noise’ inherent in laboratory testing.