If CRP or C-reactive protein in your blood is an indication of inflammation, what is hs-CRP? An increase or spike in CRP levels may show that you are fighting off an infection. Hs-CRP levels can indicate a more chronic, low-level inflammation. Chronic inflammation could mean you are more at risk of developing cardiovascular or heart disease.
While testing for C-reactive Protein or CRP is important in recognizing general levels of inflammation in your body, a standard indicator of infection or disease, what is hs-CRP testing and why is it so important?
A hs-CRP test is a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein test that can test for and find lower but levels of CRP. This is used to predict and assess your risk of heart disease or stroke. A raised level of hs-CRP has been linked to an increased risk of having a heart attack. If you have had a heart attack and have high hs-CRP values or persistent low levels of inflammation, you are more at risk of having another one than people with normal hs-CRP values.
Screening blood tests can help you, monitor, manage and take control of your health. Regular cholesterol, triglyceride, and hs-CRP tests can build a better overall picture of your health.
While high levels of LDL cholesterol may be a risk factor for heart disease, only about half of people who have heart attacks have high cholesterol. Regular hs-CRP blood tests can detect slightly higher than normal levels of CRP, a predictor of future risk of stroke, heart attack, or sudden cardiac death and peripheral arterial disease in otherwise healthy individuals.
You should monitor your hs-CRP levels if you:
A high hs-CRP value of 10.0mk/L or above usually means there is inflammation, and you may need to have more tests to find the cause.
The hs-CRP test looks at a lower range to assess your risk of heart disease. A persistent low level of inflammation can be a better indicator of atherosclerosis which is the narrowing of blood vessels associated with heart disease.
CRP is measured in milligrams of CRP per liter of blood(mg/L). The lower the level of CRP, the less inflammation in your body.
Less than 1 mg/L indicates a low risk of cardiovascular disease
Between 1 and 3 mg/L shows an intermediate risk
A reading of 3 mg/L indicates a higher risk of heart disease
Knowing your hs-CRP levels is the first step to lowering your risks. There are many things you can change or do to get your hs-CRP normal again.
Lifestyle changes include:
Medical interventions include statins, drugs that can help lower CRP and cholesterol levels. Always consult and work together with your doctor to find the right plan for you.
With Lab Me you can monitor your hs-CRP levels with a simple and convenient at-home test such as the VitalOne Health Test, Female Executive, and Male Executive Wellness Tests.
Lab Me makes testing from home not only affordable but simple as well. You can share your results with a doctor or loved one easily.
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Read more from Johns Hopkins University on hs-CRP and its role in cardiovascular disease.