Link C-Reactive Protein
To Increased Cardiovascular Risk
the arteries is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
It has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease,
heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.
To see if your arteries are inflamed as a result of atherosclerosis,
doctors can test your blood for C-reactive protein, or CRP.
The body produces C-reactive protein during the general process
of inflammation. Therefore, C-reactive protein is a "marker"
indicates an increased state of inflammation in the body.
C-reactive protein and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
In studies involving large numbers of patients, C-reactive
protein levels seem to be correlated with levels of cardiovascular
risk. C-reactive protein levels seem to predict cardiovascular
risk at least as well as cholesterol levels do.
Most studies show that the higher the C-reactive protein levels,
the higher the risk of developing heart attack. In fact, scientific
studies have found that the risk for heart attack in people
in the upper third of C-reactive protein levels is twice that
of those whose C-reactive protein is in the lower third.
Recent studies also suggest that higher levels of C-reactive
protein may increase the risk that an artery will reclose
after it has been opened by balloon angioplasty.
Should I have my C-reactive protein level measured?
If a person's cardiovascular risk score - judged by global
risk assessment - is low (the possibility of developing cardiovascular
disease is less than 10 percent in 10 years, no test is immediately
warranted. If the risk score is in the intermediate range
(10-20 percent in 10 years), such a test can help predict
a cardiovascular and stroke event and help direct further
evaluation and therapy.
How Is C-reactive protein measured?
is measured with a simple blood test, which can be done at
the same time your cholesterol is checked. One such test is
the highly-sensitivity C-reactive protein test. This blood
test measures the amount of C-reactive protein produced by
your liver when you have inflammation somewhere in your body.
Higher-than-normal levels of CRP may indicate inflammation
or a bacterial infection. A C-reactive protein test cannot
indicate where the inflammation is located or what is causing
it. Other tests are needed to determine the cause and location
of the inflammation.
What is the normal range of C-reactive protein levels?
What is the treatment for high
- If C-reactive protein level is lower
than 1.0 mg/L, a person has a low risk of developing cardiovascular
- If C-reactive protein is between 1.0
and 3.0 mg/L, a person has an average risk.
- If C-reactive protein is higher than
3.0 mg/L, a person is at high risk.
For those with an elevated C-reactive protein level, taking
aspirin may provide protection from cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs may also reduce C-reactive protein.