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What is the CRP test?

What is CRP testing all about? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

What does the CRP test measure?

The CRP test measures the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein that your body makes when there is inflammation. Higher CRP levels are linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease and its complications, such as heart attacks, strokes, peripheral arterial disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs, which causes leg cramps and poor circulation in the legs and feet), and sudden cardiac death.

How are CRP levels tested?

CRP levels are measured with a simple blood test. The test is called hsCRP, which stands for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. CRP is often used as a short form for hsCRP. The high-sensitivity test is needed to accurately measure CRP at the levels that are linked to heart disease. The hsCRP test can be done at any time of day.

What do CRP levels mean?

The higher your CRP level, the higher your risk of developing heart disease.

Very high CRP levels may be due to other causes, such as infections, autoimmune diseases (diseases where the immune system attacks the body's own tissues), and cancer. If your CRP test results are quite high (more than 10 mg/L), your doctor may recommend further testing to investigate the cause.

Your doctor will use your CRP test results, combined with other test results (such as cholesterol tests) and information from your medical history, to estimate your risk of developing heart disease and to recommend a treatment plan.

Should I be tested?

CRP testing can help identify people who are at risk for heart disease even though they appear healthy and have normal cholesterol levels. When used in combination with other testing, they can also help doctors get a clearer picture of a person's risk level. Knowing your cholesterol numbers and target levels is also important, so remember to get cholesterol testing done regularly.

Talk to your doctor about whether you should have your CRP levels tested.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2019. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/CRP-cholesterol-and-heart-disease

All material © 1996-2019 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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