Tags: Heart Disease | c-reactive protein | predict | heart attack

Can C-Reactive Protein Test Predict a Heart Attack?

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Jul 2016 12:47 AM

C-reactive protein is found in the blood when inflammation is present in the body. Some evidence has suggested that elevated c-reactive protein can be one way to predict a heart attack.

C-reactive protein signals inflammation in the body, but the cause of the inflammation is not always known, according to WebMD. Some causes of inflammation can be infection, illness, or a flare-up of arthritis. Certain medications can also cause inflammation in the body.

The American Heart Association found that levels of c-reactive protein correlated with other risk factors for heart disease, such as high triglycerides, blood pressure, fasting glucose, and metabolic syndrome.

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Patients with high c-reactive protein levels are two to four times more likely to have heart attacks or sudden death from a heart attack than the general population.

It is not known whether lowering c-reactive protein levels will lower the risk of heart attacks; however, addressing other risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol has been shown to improve levels of c-reactive protein as well.

A study by Harvard cited in Healthline showed that c-reactive protein levels were actually more effective than cholesterol levels at predicting heart problems in women. A high sensitivity c-reactive protein test is necessary to show these elevated levels.

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Statin drugs, long used to lower cholesterol, are also effective in lowering c-reactive protein levels, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Doctors don’t always recommend statin drugs for lowering c-reactive protein levels if no other risk factors for heart disease exist, however.

The American Heart Association recommends using the hs-CRP test when patients have moderate risk for heart disease as part of the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, but not using the test for low-risk patients, according to WebMD.

High-risk patients will receive treatment regardless of their c-reactive protein levels and don’t need the test for that reason.

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C-reactive protein is found in the blood when inflammation is present in the body. Some evidence has suggested that elevated c-reactive protein can be one way to predict a heart attack.
c-reactive protein, predict, heart attack
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2016-47-13
Wednesday, 13 Jul 2016 12:47 AM
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