C-Reactive Protein CRP Test
C-reactive protein CRP is a protein made in the liver that indicates the amount of inflammation in the body. Like elevated homocysteine, a high CRP level increases one’s vulnerability to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Such an increase in CRP levels may be caused by infection, inflammation, trauma, diabetes, as well as certain medicines. In the absence of these main factors, elevated CRP indicates future risks of heart attack.
What is the difference between CRP and hs-CRP?
As you’ve no doubt guessed, the difference between CRP and hs-CRP is contained in the “hs” abbreviation – “high sensitivity.”
Traditionally, CRP, or C-reactive protein, is measured down to concentrations of 3 to 5 mg/L; hs-CRP is measured down to concentrations of approximately 0.3 mg/L. This improved sensitivity allows hs-CRP to be used to detect low levels of chronic inflammation.
So, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) lab test is a marker of inflammation that predicts incident myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and sudden cardiac death among healthy individuals with no history of cardiovascular disease. Elderly people with high CRP levels are more vulnerable to serious diseases than their relatives with low C-reactive protein levels.
Which level is considered the norm?
Concentrations less than 1 mg/L indicate low risk of cardiovascular disease.
1 to 2,9 mg/L levels suggest average risk. Concentrations above 3.0 mg/L indicate a high risk of cardiovascular disease
Look at the general guidelines for hs-CRP scores:
● Low risk of cardiovascular disease: Less than 1.0 mg/L
● Average risk: 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L
● High risk: Above 3.0 mg/L
As you can see, a reading above 10 mg/L may signal a need for further testing to determine the cause of such significant inflammation in your body. It’s worth mentioning that levels of hs-CRP less than 10 mg/L are significant for cardiovascular risk stratification. Higher hs-CRP levels may be the sign of acute inflammation, a chronic illness, a trauma, etc.
C-Reactive Protein as a Biomarker of Cardiovascular Disease
In recent years, hs-CRP has been endorsed by several public health organizations (2,3,4) as a biomarker of cardiovascular disease risk.
As for primary prevention, a number of prospective epidemiological studies have shown that the high-sensitivity method in detecting CRP is highly predictive of cardiovascular accidents1, peripheral vascular diseases, ischaemic strokes, and sudden cardiac death risks even if the patient is virtually healthy. Other major studies in the USA and Europe have proven hs-CRP levels to be a better risk indicator than low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Moreover, since hs-CRP reflects a different cardiovascular risk component, a combination of hs-CRP and lipoprotein profile would significantly enhance total risk estimation. Thus, LDLC levels higher than 160 mg/DL and high hs-CRP levels signal a need to discuss “aggressive” primary prevention and lifestyle changes with your doctor and start a drug therapy in case of therapeutic indications.
Do I need to check my hs-CRP levels if I feel well?
Factors that increase hs-CRP levels are quite numerous. They include obesity, elevated blood pressure, diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2, acute situational reaction, sleep disturbances, etc. In order to make allowance for all the major factors, Healsens will provide your physical assessment, generate your individual profile and help determine the necessity and frequency of controlling your hs-CRP levels.
What if my hs-CRP level is high?
Firstly, the good news is that giving up smoking, regular physical activity, as well as weight-reducing treatment, can lower basic hs-CRP level without any medical help. Healthy eating habits2, green tea34, controlled drinking, sufficient vitamin D56, vitamin C7, and vitamin K8 in your body can also reduce the level of the reactive protein in the body. The same effect can be achieved through certain medications, such as9:
- cyclooxygenase inhibitors(Aspirin, Rofecoxib, Celecoxib)
- thrombocyte aggregation inhibitors (Clopidogrel, Abciximab)
- cholesterol management products (statins, ezetimibe, fenofibrate, nicotinic acid)
- beta-adrenergic blocking agents and angiotensin
- converting-enzyme inhibitors (Ramipril, Captopril, Fozinopril)
- anti-diabetes drugs (Rosiglitazone, Pioglitazone).
In case any medications must be taken, discuss your therapeutic regimen with your doctor.
This article was last reviewed on 10 April 2019. This article was last modified on 14 February 2020.
- High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein and Cardiovascular Disease Across Countries and Ethnicities
- Diet quality inversely associated with C-reactive protein levels in urban, low-income African American and White adults
- Green tea extract reduces blood pressure, inflammatory biomarkers, and oxidative stress and improves parameters associated with insulin resistance in obese, hypertensive patient
- Green Tea minimally affects Biomarkers of Inflammation in Obese Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome
- Interaction of Vitamin D and Smoking on Inflammatory Markers in the Urban Elderly
- Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on the Level of Circulating High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
- A Meta-analysis of Randomized Control Trials: The Impact of Vitamin C Supplementation on Serum CRP and Serum hs-CRP Concentrations
- Relationship between vitamin K status, bone mineral density, and hs-CRP in young Korean women
- C-reactive protein (CRP)-lowering agents