CRP (C-Reactive Protein) Blood Test

C Reactive Protein Blood Test

The C Reactive Protein (CRP) blood test is used to measure inflammation in the body and is an indicator of heart attack risk.  The blood test is consequently ordered to monitor individuals that have coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease to determine their progress, levels and overall health.

In a recent article the New York Times wrote that the CRP blood test “…is now increasingly recognized as the driving force behind clots that block blood flow to the heart. Yet patients are rarely tested for CRP, even if they already have heart problems.”  Other studies have shown that approximately 50% of strokes and heart attacks occur in individuals with normal cholesterol, illustrating the importance of periodic CRP testing in preventing cardiac disease.

According to the American Heart Association, the level of CRP within the bloodstream plays a leading role in heart disease every year. Those with a range of 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L are at average risk for heart disease, while less than 1.0 mg/L is a low risk. High risk is 3.0 mg/L or higher and usually indicates more serious medical conditions.

The CRP blood test is also commonly ordered for those suspected of having inflammatory bowel disease, some types of arthritis, autoimmune disease, or pelvic inflammatory disease.  The test is very helpful in allowing medical professionals to monitor and determine if there is a need for additional blood testing.  Because inflammation can signify a more serious medical condition, this blood test will assist in the evaluation of conditions, as well as how the patient responds to treatment that is prescribed for the inflammation. A good example of this is in those individuals that have had organ transplants or a recent surgery; the blood test can yield results allowing physicians to determine if there is suspected infection and how the organ/incision sites are healing.

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