Q&A on why lab results play a vital role in your health



By: Dr. Allison Edwards with Sesame Staff

What vital information can labs help a doctor determine? Read on.

Regular lab work can be an important part of getting an understanding of your overall health, and doctors are aided immensely when they can look at a patients lab results. In fact, according to the CDC, 70% of today's medical decisions depend on laboratory test results. Some blood tests can help your doctor determine things like how your organs are reacting to a medication you're taking, or if you're at risk for developing a certain condition.

Read a short Q&A with Sesame's Medical Director, Dr. Allison Edwards, below to find out more about the vital role lab results play in making sure your doctor has the most comprehensive view on your health. Plus, find recommended routine labs for you based on your age and gender.

Q: Is it important to get routine lab work done?

A: Although the data we have suggests that there isn’t a huge benefit to getting “routine blood work” done; that doesn’t change the fact that for many Americans, the annual labs tend to give people a better overall picture of their health, on a cellular and metabolic level.

Q: What can lab results help a doctor determine about a patient?

A: Depending on what your doctor orders, laboratory testing of blood samples can be quite insightful. The tests most often performed look for kidney, thyroid, and liver function, electrolyte balance; anemia, low platelets, and imbalance in white blood cells; A1c; and cholesterol (sometimes referred to as a “lipid panel”).

Q: How vital are lab results in determining a comprehensive care plan for a patient?

A: Lab results play an important role in making sure your doctor has an idea of what’s going on with your vital organs. While there isn’t great data to suggest that getting an “annual panel” or “routine lab work” done just for the sake of doing labs, it can be helpful to get a spot check just to make sure that as your doctor is prescribing medicines, you have an idea of how your kidneys are working, as many medications rely on the kidneys to clear them from your system. Of course, there are a whole host of reasons to get labs if you’re looking for a specific disease or monitoring a chronic condition. Your clinician will help you figure out what labs are best in these circumstances.

Explore lab tests that can be booked directly on Sesame, or talk to a provider today to learn what labs might be recommended for you based on your health history, gender or age.

Men and women under the age of 45 should consider getting the following labs:

LabPurposeFrequency
STD TestsSexually Transmitted Disease ScreeningAnnually for sexually active (prior to a new partner or with high-risk behavior)
Lipid panel (cholesterol)High Cholesterol Screening (if recommended)Annually starting at age 40


Men and women 45 and older should consider getting the following labs:

LabPurposeFrequency
STD TestsSexually Transmitted Disease ScreeningAnnually for sexually active (prior to a new partner or with high-risk behavior)
Lipid panel (cholesterol)High Cholesterol Screening (if recommended)Annually starting at age 40
Colon Cancer Screening TestColon Cancer Screening - iFIT, FOBT, Cologuard, and other optionsAnnually (iFIT, FOBT). Every 3 years (Cologuard). Colonoscopy (Every 3-10 years depending on risk factors)

Labs & bloodwork

Find the best cash price for labs and bloodwork including lipid panel (cholesterol), comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), HbA1c, and more.

Skip carousel section: Labs & bloodwork
Jump to top of carousel section: Labs & bloodwork

Telehealth visit

Doctors and specialists on Sesame treat 120+ conditions.

Skip carousel section: Telehealth visit
Jump to top of carousel section: Telehealth visit

Medical disclaimer

Sesame content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern, it is critical to seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions. If you are facing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room immediately.