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Learn about blood tests that reveal your risk of heart attacks

Infections are health problems that occur in any organ of the body and lead to an increase in the level of C-reactive protein (CRP), which can be measured in the blood. When there is inflammation in your body, your doctor may check your C-reactive protein level for infection or other medical conditions.

According to a report by the Mayo Clinic, the highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test, which is more sensitive than the standard test, can also be used to assess your risk of developing coronary artery disease, a condition in which narrowed arteries of the heart can lead to a heart attack.

Benefits of the CRP Test

Your doctor may order a CRP test to check for inflammation, which could indicate the presence of a chronic inflammatory disease or infection, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, as well as a risk of heart disease.

CRP tests for heart disease

A high level of hs-CRP in the blood is thought to be associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. A CRP test does not indicate the cause of inflammation, so an elevated CRP level could mean that there is inflammation caused by something near the heart.

The American Heart Association does not recommend the hs-CRP test for everyone. Instead, the test is more useful for people who have a 5 to 10 percent chance of having a heart attack within the next 10 years. This average risk level is determined through the Global Risk Assessment. It depends on your lifestyle choices, family history, and current health status.

The test also helps determine the risk of a second heart attack, as people with a high level of hs-CRP who have had a heart attack are more likely to have another event than those with a normal level.

People who have a low risk of a heart attack are less likely to benefit from the hs-CRP test. People with a known high risk of heart attack should seek treatment and preventive measures regardless of how high their hs-CRP level is.

If you are going to have the hs-CRP test to help detect heart disease risk, remember that CRP level is only one risk factor for coronary artery disease. If you have a high C-reactive protein, it does not necessarily mean that you are at higher risk of developing disease. the heart.

Test results

For the standard CRP test, the normal reading is less than 10 milligrams per liter (mg / L). A test result showing a CRP level greater than 10 mg / L is a sign of a serious infection, trauma, or chronic disease, which will likely require further testing to determine the cause.

If you are undergoing the hs-CRP test to assess your risk of developing heart disease, the current risk levels used include:

Less risk: have an hs-CRP level of less than 2.0 milligrams per liter (mg / L).

Higher risk: Have an hs-CRP level greater than 2.0 mg / L.