C-Reactive Protein Test | MedStar Health

A protein test to help patients understand their heart disease risk

C-reactive protein (CRP) increases in the blood with inflammation or infection. A high level of CRP is associated with an increased risk of heart attack  and heart disease. A high sensitivity C-reactive protein test (hs-CRP) measures the levels of CRP in the blood and, along with cholesterol testing, is one more way to optimize our understanding of your heart risk.

The hs-CRP test is most useful for patients who have a 5 to 10 percent chance of having a heart attack within the next 10 years, based on lifestyle choices, family history, and current health status. Checking your CRP involves a simple blood test. If you’re getting your cholesterol tested, we can use the same tube of blood. Your CRP level puts you in one of three categories:

  • Low risk: less than 1 mg/L

  • Average risk: 1 to 3 mg/L

  • High risk: greater than 3 mg/L

Your doctor can talk to you about steps to take to reduce your CRP level, such as taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) or statins, eating a heart-healthy diet, managing your weight, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly.

Our providers

Dr Brian Case listens to the heart of a patient during an office visit at MedStar Health. Both people are wearing masks.

Expert cardiology care

Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our cardiologists.

Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net. If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.