Cholesterol screenings are available at Bismarck Burleigh Public Health during American Heart Month. Screenings will be scheduled between 8:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. Feb. 13 and Feb. 16.

The test pricks the finger and measures total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, trigylcerides and glucose. The screening includes a consultation with the public health unit's dietitian following the screening. The screening and consultation takes about a half hour.

Appointments are necessary. They can be made by calling Bismarck Burleigh Public Health at 222-6525. The test costs $20 and requires people to fast after 10 the night before. Only water and black coffee are allowed for accurate test results. Other beverages and food will alter test results, particularly the triglyceride and glucose results, said Deb Hoffman, a public health nurse.

"Younger people have never been tested and want to know," their results, Hoffman said, while people under a physician's care might want to know their results between visits to their doctor.

People can use the screening to see where their levels are at, and also take the results to follow-up with their physicians. In addition to the screening, blood pressure will be taken.

A healthy person would have total cholesterol under 200mg/dl, glucose would be under 100 mg/dl and blood pressure would be less than 120/80, Hoffman said.

A person with elevated test results could lower the results by making lifestyle changes, Hoffman said. These include changes in what a person eats and being more physically active.

(Reach reporter Sara Kincaid at 250-8251 or sara.kincaid@;bismarcktribune.com.)