What is High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) Screening?
High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Screening (hsCRP) is a blood test that can help measure your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This test measures the amount of overall inflammation in your body. HsCRP increases dramatically in severe cases of COVID-19.
Recently, research has shown that chronic inflammation may occur within the arteries of the heart, and may play a role in the development and progression of heart disease, acting as a “silent killer”. Standard heart health tests, such as cholesterol, do not test for this chronic inflammation, but chronic inflammation can be monitored by measuring hsCRP levels in your blood.
Conditions linked to elevated High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP)?
Elevated High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Screening (hsCRP) levels can be an indicator of an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
An elevated hsCRP will not indicate the cause of inflammation which can also be due to temporary, short-term conditions such as recent surgery, injury, illness or infection.
Elevated hsCRP can also be associated with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Who may want to have High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) checked?
People with risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, prediabetes, diabetes, obesity, and/or a family history of heart disease may most benefit from this screening.
Individuals without other risk factors may also benefit from this screening. Researchers have shown that high hsCRP levels can indicate a risk for a heart attack and stroke, even in individuals who are seemingly healthy.
This screening may help your provider better assess your risk of cardiovascular disease and need for lifestyle modifications, other testing and/or possibly medication.
The hsCRP Screening is most useful when tested with the blood chemistry and hemoglobin A1c screenings to evaluate for cholesterol levels and prediabetes or diabetes.
People who have a known high risk of having a heart attack should consult with a health care provider and consider lifestyle and preventive measures regardless of their hsCRP level.