High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein: About This Test

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What is it?

Picture of the heart

A high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test measures the amount of CRP (C-reactive protein) in your blood. This test may help find your risk of heart problems, especially when the results are considered along with other risk factors such as cholesterol, age, blood pressure, and smoking.

Why is this test done?

This test may be done to find out if you have an increased chance of having a sudden heart problem, such as a heart attack. But the connection between high CRP levels and heart attack risk is not understood very well.

A high level of CRP may mean a higher-than-normal risk of heart problems. If your risk for heart problems is high, your doctor may recommend lifestyles changes or medicine to help lower your risk.

How can you prepare for the test?

  • In general, you don't need to prepare before having this test. Your doctor may give you some specific instructions.

What happens during the test?

  • A health professional takes a sample of your blood.

What else should you know about the test?

  • Your results will include an explanation of what a "normal" result is. This is called a "reference range." It is just a guide. Your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed may still be normal for you.
  • A high hs-CRP doesn't mean that you have a heart problem, but it may show a higher chance of having one.
  • Other problems can also cause the level of hs-CRP to go up.

How long does the test take?

  • The test will take a few minutes.

What happens after the test?

  • You will probably be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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