hs-CRP - Why Test It?

The high-sensitivity CRP test measures low levels of CRP in the blood to identify low levels of inflammation that are associated with risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). The hs-CRP test accurately detects lower levels of the protein than the standard CRP test and is used to evaluate individuals for risk of CVD. It measures CRP in the range from 0.5 to 10 mg/L.

It is now believed that a persistent low level of inflammation plays a major role in atherosclerosis, the narrowing of blood vessels due to build-up of cholesterol and other lipids, which is often associated with CVD.

High-sensitivity CRP is one of a growing number of cardiac risk markers that are used to help determine a person’s risk. Some studies have shown that measuring CRP with a highly sensitive assay can help identify the risk level for CVD in apparently healthy people. This more sensitive test can measure CRP levels that are within the higher end of the reference range. These normal but slightly high levels of CRP in otherwise healthy individuals can predict the future risk of a heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death, and peripheral arterial disease, even when cholesterol levels are within an acceptable range.

The American Heart Association and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined risk groups as follows:

  • Low risk: less than 1.0 mg/L
  • Average risk: 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L
  • High risk: above 3.0 mg/L
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.