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CRP and Heart Disease

C-reactive protein or CRP is a protein that liver produces in response to injury or infection. CRP circulates in the bloodstream in very low levels but its level increases as part of the body's response to any inflammatory process. C-reactive protein associated with inflammation is important in determining the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Inflammation contributes to heart disease by teaming up with the LDL cholesterol which is deposited in the plaque that sticks to the blood vessel walls and impede the flow of blood. The inflammatory process damage the plaques, allowing tiny portions of plaque to break off into the bloodstream which is then swept away to be lodged in small blood vessels in the heart or brain, resulting in a heart attack.

A CRP test result with other blood test results and risk factors for heart disease can create an overall picture of the health of your heart. CRP test result can be interpreted by putting your heart disease at different risk levels:

  • Low risk (less than 1.0 mg/L)
  • Average risk (1.0 to 3.0 mg/L)
  • High risk (above 3.0 mg/L)