C-Reactive Protein Test (Hs-cRP) : Healtopedia - Best Health Screening Packages in Malaysia

C-Reactive Protein Test (Hs-cRP)

Overview

A High-sensitivity C-reactive Protein (Hs-CRP) is a test to evaluate your risk of developing coronary artery disease which is a condition in which the arteries near your hearts are narrowed, this disease may lead to a heart attack.

What Facts?

A High-sensitivity C-reactive Protein (Hs-CRP) is a test to determine the C-reactive protein (CRP) which is a protein that increases in the blood when there is inflammation in your body. This test is to indicate infection, chronic inflammatory disease such as lupus and the risk of heart disease. Though the CRP test doesn’t indicate the cause of inflammation, it is possible that a high Hs-CRP level means there’s inflammation caused by something other than the heart.

Relevance

A High-sensitivity C-reactive Protein (Hs-CRP) is a test that could determine your risk for developing coronary artery disease which will later lead to a heart attack. It is suitable for people who have a 5% to 10% chance of having a heart attack within the next 10 years. People who have known high risk of having a heart attack should seek treatment and preventive measures regardless of how high their Hs-CRP level is.

What Causes?

Usually, moderately elevated CRP levels are due to RA or infectious arthritis, which occurs when a joint is infected.

Significantly elevated CRP levels tend to occur with severe infections, such as bacterial or fungal infections. Infection is responsible for around 80 percent of the cases involving CRP levels greater than 10 mg/L.

Sometimes higher levels also occur due to certain cancers and other conditions that can cause significant inflammation, such as pericarditis.

How to Identify?

There is currently no set standard for CRP blood levels, and guidelines vary.

However, as a general rule, the following classifications apply to CRP:

  • Levels between 3 mg/L and 10 mg/L are mildly elevated and usually result from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or lifestyle factors including tobacco smoking and being sedentary.
  • Levels between 10 mg/L and 100 mg/L are moderately elevated and are usually due to more significant inflammation from an infectious or non-infectious cause.
  • Levels above 100 mg/L are severely elevated and almost always a sign of severe bacterial infection.

What Symptoms?

  • unexplained exhaustion
  • pain
  • muscle stiffness, soreness, and weakness
  • low-grade fever
  • chills
  • a headache
  • nausea, loss of appetite, and indigestion
  • difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • unexplained weight loss

What to Do?

For this, a blood test usually occurs in which a small amount of blood is drawn with a needle into a vial. For a standard CRP test, a normal reading is less than 10 milligram per liter (mg/L). A test result showing a CRP level greater than 10 mg/L is a sign of serious infection, trauma or chronic disease, which likely will require further testing to determine the cause.

  • Lower risk. You have an hs-CRP level of less than 2.0 milligram per liter (mg/L).
  • Higher risk. You have an hs-CRP level greater than 2.0 mg/L.

These risk levels aren’t a definitive measure of your risk because the ideal indicator of high CRP isn’t clearly defined. Also, because a person’s CRP levels vary over time, it’s recommended that the average of two tests, ideally taken two weeks apart, be used to determine coronary artery disease risk.

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