5 Important Blood Tests for Adults

Blood Tests


All the components that makeup blood such as cells and plasma should be present in certain acceptable quantities or proportions, deviations from which can be an indication of various underlying health problems. Doctors prescribe blood tests to be carried out to understand the reasons behind various illnesses and consequently prescribe the necessary treatment.

Usually, blood tests are carried out on the advice of doctors when a patient visits them for some ailment. However, monitoring one’s health is very important and yearly physical examinations are advisable for adults, especially once they cross 40, as the onset of many diseases and ailments tend to take place as people grow older.

So, which blood tests should an adult undertake on a regular basis? While blood tests for specific ailments are usually carried out on the basis of a doctor’s recommendation, in this article we will shed light on 5 important blood tests for adults and what they mean:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)

A CBC is one of the most routine and important tests that can reveal a plethora of information about one’s well-being. In a CBC test, all the cells present in the blood, i.e., red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are tested and measured against some established parameters. Main tests include RBC count, WBC count, haemoglobin and haematocrit (ratio of RBC to plasma).

The acceptable ranges for a CBC test may vary from one path lab to another, based on the testing methodology used. However, generally accepted values are:


  1. RBC Count: 4.3 – 5.9 million/mm3 for males; 3.5 – 5.5 million/mm3 for females
  2. WBC Count: 4500 – 11000/mm3
  3. Platelets: 130000 – 400000/mm3
  4. Haemoglobin: 13.5 – 17.5 g/dL for males; 12 – 16 g/dL for females
  5. Haematocrit: 40 – 53% for males; 36-46% for females


Major deviations from these values may indicate may indicate vitamin B6 and B12 deficiencies heart disease, infections, anaemia, etc.

  1. Blood Sugar Tests

For adults over the age of 40, it is very important to regularly monitor blood sugar levels, which are markers for type-1 and type-2 diabetes. Diabetes is one the most debilitating health conditions as it can lead to various complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, loss of eyesight, etc.

Main blood sugar tests and their values:

  1. Fasting Blood Sugar: should be less than 100 mg/dL. Between 100-125 mg/dL is indicative of pre-diabetes, more than 126 mg/dL is indicative of diabetes.
  2. Post Prandial Blood Sugar: should be less than 140 mg/dL. Between 140-180 mg/dL is indicative of pre-diabetes, more than 180 mg/dL is indicative of diabetes

Abnormally low blood sugar levels are also a cause for concern and requires appropriate treatment by a qualified physician.

  1. Lipid Profile Tests

Lipid Profile Tests are extremely important for middle-aged and older people as they are critical markers of increased vulnerability to heart diseases. The lipid profile comprehensively measures the freely available cholesterol and fats in the blood. The lipid profile test covers parameters such as HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol), total cholesterol, triglycerides (fats).

Following is the list of tests along with their values:

  1. HDL: should be 60mg/dL or higher; lower than 40 mg/dL increases the risk of heart diseases
  2. LDL: should be less than 100mg/dL.
  3. Total Cholesterol: should be less than 200 mg/dL
  4. Triglycerides: should be less than 150 mg/dL


  1. Metabolic Tests


The Metabolic panel is another highly recommended slew of tests for adults as it covers important tests for liver, kidney, pH balance, electrolytes, etc. Imbalance in metabolic parameters such as sodium, potassium, calcium, urea, bilirubin, albumin, etc. can reveal underlying causes of various ailments of the kidneys and liver that may require immediate attention. High levels of ALP, ALT and AST (liver enzymes) are indications of liver cirrhosis, gallbladder inflammation, gallstones, hepatitis.


Following are the various parameters along with their values:

Sodium: 136 – 144 mEq/L

Potassium: 3.7 – 5.2 mEq/L

Chloride: 96 – 106 mmol/L

Calcium: 8.5 – 10.2 mg/ dL

Blood Glucose: <100 mg/ dL (fasting)

Carbon Dioxide: 23 – 29 mmol/L

Blood Urea Nitrogen: 6 – 20 mg/dL

Creatinine: 0.8 – 1.2 mg/dL

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): 44 – 147 IU/L

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT): 7 – 40 IU/L

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST): 10 – 34 IU/L

Bilirubin: 0.3 – 1.9 mg/ dL

Albumin: 3.5 – 5.4 g/ dL

Total Protein: 6 – 8.3 g/ dL

  1. Enzyme Biomarkers

Enzymes such as Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK), Creatine Kinase MB (CKMB) and Troponin perform several vital functions throughout the body. Their elevated levels are signs of heart damage, muscle damage, liver disease, etc. Enzyme biomarkers are blood tests that measure the level of these enzymes and analyze their activity in the body.

Enzymes and their values:

CPK: 30-200 U/L

CK-MB: 0-12 IU/L

Troponin: should be less than 1 ng/mL

One should bear in mind that the results of blood tests provide vital information of a person’s physical condition. Therefore, one must be very careful in choosing a pathology lab that has an excellent reputation for providing accurate results. Also, one should always share blood reports with qualified physicians for proper interpretation of the test results and further investigation, if required.

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