A protein test to help patients understand their heart disease risk
Expert Heart & Vascular Care
Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our heart or vascular specialists.
C-reactive protein (CRP) increases in the blood with inflammation or infection. A high level of CRP is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. A high sensitivity C-reactive protein test (hs-CRP) measures the levels of CRP in the blood and, along with cholesterol testing, is one more way to optimize our understanding of your heart risk.
The hs-CRP test is most useful for patients who have a 5 to 10 percent chance of having a heart attack within the next 10 years, based on lifestyle choices, family history and current health status. Checking your CRP involves a simple blood test. If you’re getting your cholesterol tested, we can use the same tube of blood. Your CRP level puts you in one of three categories:
- Low risk: Less than 1mg/L
- Average risk: 1 to 3 mg/L
- High risk: Greater than 3mg/L
Your doctor can talk to you about steps to take to reduce your CRP level, such as taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) or statins, eating a heart-healthy diet, managing your weight, quitting smoking and exercising regularly.