Study has said people may no longer require to fast before having a cholesterol test, for a new study found that the results were just as accurate if the patient had eaten before the test.
Cholesterol tests have long been a key part of assessing a patient's risk of cardiovascular problems and for decades patients have been asked to not eat food 12 hours prior to a test.
It was believed that body required enough time to digest food in the system and to clear any fatty particles from the blood in order to produce an accurate reading of so-called "bad" cholesterol - or low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
However, Cambridge researchers suggest the contrary.
"For decades, people have been asked to fast overnight before their cholesterol tests," The BBC News quoted lead researcher Professor John Danesh as saying.
"These findings indicate that cholesterol measurements are at least as good - and probably somewhat better - when made without fasting," Danesh added.
The study also adds to the ongoing controversy over whether testing for blood proteins called apolipoproteins is a more reliable way of predicting heart risk than cholesterol testing.
The research showed that analyzing "good" cholesterol - or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in conjunction with LDL was just as informative as testing for apolipoproteins AI and B.
The study appears in Journal of American Medical Association.