When Should I Have A C
CRP testing is done primarily to detect or monitor health conditions that are associated with inflammation. For example, a CRP test may be recommended if you have signs and symptoms of:
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Autoimmune disease, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Minor inflammation associated with a range of issues such as smoking, diabetes, and physical trauma
There are not strict guidelines for when CRP testing is prescribed, so it is important to consult with your health care provider to determine if a CRP test is appropriate in your situation.
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Chronic inflammation in the arteries creates a breeding ground for the formation of fatty streaks, which can eventually lead to cholesterol-rich plaques and ultimately, heart attacks and strokes.
Many other diseases are also linked with chronic inflammation, and include arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, and pulmonary diseases.
How It Is Done
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
What Is The Conventional Treatment Of Elevated C
Conventional physicians may prescribe the same drugs used to lower LDL cholesterol to also lower levels of CRP. In addition, they will typically recommend exercise and weight loss where appropriate, since both can help lower CRP levels. In general, conventional physicians recommend the same lifestyle changes shown to reduce heart disease diet, exercise, not smoking, drinking less alcohol, following a heart-healthy diet to lower elevated C-reactive protein levels.
When Should You Have C
Checking the CRP level for the entire adult population is not recommended. Some experts recommend checking the serum CRP level routinely along with the cholesterol level however, although this is not widely accepted. Ideally, for cardiac risk testing, it is advisable to use the average between two separate CRP levels drawn two weeks part.
More importantly, the CRP level can provide additional information about an individual’s cardiovascular risk in conjunction with other known cardiac risk factors, such as,
- exercise, and
- cholesterol-lowering medication.
People with elevated C-reactive protein levels may be advised by their treating doctors. Statin drugs are at the forefront of the recommended cholesterol-lowering agents. Lowering of CRP may be seen with the use of statin drugs even without significant improvement of the cholesterol profile.
Reduction of CRP level has also been noted in individuals with known cardiovascular disease who begin aspirin therapy. In those without known cardiovascular disease or significant risk factors for it, aspirin use is not generally recommended. Some diabetic medications have also been shown to reduce CRP levels in people with or without diabetes mellitus. This effect was seen independent of their glucose-lowering effects.
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What Are The Causes Of Elevated C
Elevated CRP can signal many different conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease. The chronic inflammation behind an elevated CRP level may also be influenced by genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, too much stress, and exposure to environmental toxins such as secondhand tobacco smoke. Diet has a huge impact, particularly one that contains a lot of refined, processed and manufactured foods.
Why Do I Need A Crp Test
You may need this test if you have symptoms of a serious bacterial infection. Symptoms include:
If you’ve already been diagnosed with an infection or have a chronic disease, this test may be used to monitor your treatment. CRP levels rise and fall depending on how much inflammation you have. If your CRP levels go down, it’s a sign that your treatment for inflammation is working.
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What Is C Reactive Protein Test Positive Means
If your results show a high level of CRP, it probably means you have some type of inflammation in your body. A CRP test doesnt explain the cause or location of the inflammation. So if your results are not normal, your health care provider may order more tests to figure out why you have inflammation.
What Therapies Does Dr Weil Recommend For Elevated C
Dr. Weil recommends an anti-inflammatory diet that includes two to three servings of fish such as salmon or sardines per week. If you dont eat fish, he suggests taking fish oil supplements. He also recommends taking anti-inflammatory herbs including ginger and turmeric and following your doctors recommendations for heart health. That means quitting smoking, watching your diet , and getting regular exercise: research indicates that as fitness levels decline, C-reactive protein levels go up.
Reviewed by Benjamin S. Gonzalez, M.D., May, 2016.
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What Happens During A Crp Test
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This process usually takes less than five minutes.
What Abnormal Results Mean
It is unclear if a minor rise of 0.3 to 1 mg/dL in CRP levels is a cause for concern. The hs-CRP is more precise and may be used to further understand these results.
- CRP levels from 1 mg/dL to 10 mg/dL are thought to be a moderate increase.
- CRP Levels greater than 10 mg/dL are considered a marked increase.
A positive test means you have inflammation in the body. The cause of a high CRP cannot always be determined. Some include:
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Why The Test Is Performed
The CRP test is a general test to check for inflammation in the body. It is not a specific test. That means it can reveal that you have inflammation somewhere in your body, but it cannot pinpoint the exact location. The CRP test is often done with the ESR or sedimentation rate test which also looks for inflammation.
You may have this test to:
- Check for flare-ups of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis , lupus, or vasculitis.
- Determine if anti-inflammatory medicine is working to treat a disease or condition.
However, a low CRP level does not always mean that there is no inflammation present. Levels of CRP may not be increased in people with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The reason for this is unknown.
A more sensitive CRP test, called a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein assay, is available to determine a person’s risk for heart disease.
Primary Analysis: Mixture Modelling Analysis
Following the two suggested peaks in the examination of the Ln distribution, a two-latent class finite mixture model was fitted. It appeared to graphically fit the data when examined against the empirical distribution in , Plot . This was supported by a comparison with the one-class model, which displayed a higher AIC . The simple threshold at which the predicted probability of belonging to a two-class model being greater than one-class was 38mg/L. This will be implemented as â¥ 40mg/L herein, to account for the imprecision of the measurement of CRP and also for ease of recall in a busy clinical setting.
The three-class finite mixture model fit slightly better than the two-class finite mixture model , with probability of class-one membership highest between range 0â14mg/L, class-two between 15â120mg/L and class-three for values of CRP â¥120mg/L, see , Plot .
The primary analysis proposed a single optimal threshold of CRP â¥40mg/L to indicate elevated CRP.
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Does Aspirin Help
Aspirin does not specifically reduce levels of CRP. However, daily aspirin therapy can be used as a heart attack and stroke prevention measure.
This may be recommended for some people with elevated CRP who are at a higher risk of heart disease or who have already experienced one of these consequences.
Those with elevated CRP may benefit from aspirin therapy more than people whose CRP levels are normal.
Aspirin therapy isn’t for everyone. Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting an aspiring regimen.
What Is The C
It is important to recognize that CRP, similar to other markers of inflammation, can be elevated because of any inflammatory process or infection and, thus, its interpretation needs careful assessment of the entire clinical picture by the ordering physician. Other inflammatory processes, such as active arthritis, trauma, or infections, can raise the c-reactive protein level independently.
Because of the these variables and fluctuations, it is also recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to measure fasting and non-fasting c-reactive protein levels ideally two weeks apart, and to use the average of these two results for a more accurate interpretation if the CRP level is used as a screening tool for cardiovascular disease.
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Treating And Preventing Elevated C
C-reactive protein levels increase and decrease depending on how much inflammation youre experiencing at any given time. Inflammation is defined as Redness, swelling, pain, and/or a feeling of heat in an area of the body. This is a protective reaction to injury, disease, or irritation of the tissues.
When you arent sick or injured, its normal for C-reactive protein levels to be low. But when something happens to signal to the body that it needs to be healed, levels rise to make this happen. Once you start to recover and symptoms subside, levels will fall and should return to normal.
This is why doctors use CRP tests to determine if a patients treatment plan is working, in addition to assessing if he/she is at risk for problems related to chronic inflammation , including heart disease.
How To Get Tested
C-reactive protein testing is typically performed only after being prescribed by a doctor or other health professional.
After your doctor orders a CRP test, the blood sample can be drawn at a hospital or clinic laboratory or, if you are hospitalized, at your bedside. In some cases, the sample might be collected at your doctors office. The measurement of CRP takes place in a laboratory.
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Is There A Link Between C
The elevation of CRP has also been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease. Atherosclerosis, or cholesterol plaquing of the arteries, is known to have an inflammatory component that is thought to cause the rise in CRP levels in the blood. Atherosclerosis is also felt to be affected by age and other cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cigarettesmoking.
In atherosclerosis, the blood vessel wall becomes injured. This injury acts as a focus of inflammation and leads to the formation of plaques in the blood vessel walls. The plaques typically contain blood cells of inflammation, cholesterol deposits, and debris from the injured cells in the blood vessel lining. The accumulation of these elements leads to the narrowing of the wall of the blood vessel. The blood vessel narrowing can hinder the blood flow and the plaque can rupture and flake off the blood vessel wall causing blockage and leading to strokes and heart attacks.
The burden of plaques in the body can be proportional to the degree of CRP elevation in persons with atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaques can exist in different stages throughout the body.
Addressing Your Risk Factors
It is not known now much it helps to take steps aimed specifically at reducing your CRP levels.
Likewise, it is uncertain whether treatment aimed specifically at lowering CRP levels can reduce cardiovascular risk.
That aside, knowing your CRP levels are elevated should encourage you to take every opportunity to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Elevated CRP levels are almost always associated with other risk factors for heart disease, including:
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
Talk to your healthcare provider about your heart disease risk factors and what can be done to address them and your CRP levels.
This may involve habit changes, weight loss efforts, and/or medication.
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How Is The Test Administered
No special preparation is necessary for this test. You may eat normally on the day of the test.
A nurse or other health practitioner draws blood from a vein, usually on the inside of your elbow or the back of your hand:
First, they clean the skin over the vein with antiseptic. Next, they wrap an elastic band around your arm, causing your veins to bulge out slightly. The practitioner then inserts a small needle into the vein and collects your blood in a sterile vial.
After the nurse or health practitioner collects your blood sample, they remove the elastic band around your arm and ask you to apply pressure to the puncture site with gauze. They may use tape or a bandage to hold the gauze in place.
A CRP test can be helpful in assessing a persons risk of heart disease, especially in combination with high cholesterol levels. The benefits of this test outweigh potential complications, especially for those at risk of heart disease or stroke and those recovering from recent heart procedures.
Secondary Analysis: Prognostic Modelling
The time-to-mortality analysis included 1502 participants in the complete case population. A cut-off of â¥65mg/L appeared to fit best in the sample on all measures after fitting different binary categorizations of CRP in a Cox model for time to mortality. Differences in measures of goodness of fit were small, especially between cut-offs in the range of â¥40mg/L to â¥90mg/L. CRP as a continuous Ln measure performed considerably better and with little improvement on this using a linear scale . Regarding bootstrapped differences in the measures of goodness of fit between a cut-off of â¥40mg/L and the marginally better performing cut-off of â¥65mg/L, no difference in performance was seen with 95% CI for all measures . There was evidence that cut-offs of both â¥40mg/L and â¥65mg/L outperformed a cut-off of â¥10mg/L, the upper limit of the normal range for CRP. It should be noted that Ln was the optimal parameterization compared with either â¥40mg/L or â¥65mg/L .
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What Do The Test Results Mean
C-reactive protein is measured in milligrams of CRP per liter of blood . In general, a low C-reactive protein level is better than a high one, because it indicates less inflammation in the body.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, a reading of less than 1 mg/L indicates youre at low risk of cardiovascular disease.
A reading between 1 and 2.9 mg/L means youre at intermediate risk.
A reading greater than 3 mg/L means youre at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
A reading above 10 mg/L may signal a need for further testing to determine the cause of such significant inflammation in your body. This especially high reading may indicate:
- a bone infection, or osteomyelitis
- an autoimmune arthritis flare-up
- cancer, especially lymphoma
- pneumonia or other significant infection
Elevated CRP values in pregnancy may be a marker for complications, but more studies are necessary to fully understand the role of CRP and pregnancy.
If youre pregnant or have any other chronic infection or inflammatory disease, a CRP test is unlikely to accurately assess your risk of heart disease.
Before having a CRP test, speak to your doctor about any medical conditions that may skew the test results. Since there are other blood tests that can be performed instead, you might wish to forego a CRP test altogether.
What Elevated Crp Levels Mean
When CRP levels remain elevated for a long time, it can be an indication that chronic inflammation of the blood vessels is present.
This type of low-grade inflammation contributes to the deposit of fat and other substances in the artery walls, a condition called atherosclerosis.
This is true even for those with elevated CRP levels who have no obvious signs of active inflammation.
It is now well-established that inflammation is an important contributor to atherosclerosis. Elevated CRP is also firmly associated with an increased risk of CAD.
What is not known is whether CRP itself actually contributes to CAD directly.
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Why Would I Need This Test
You might need this test if your doctor suspects that you have an infection or an illness related to inflammation or to check for infection, especially after surgery. CRP can help confirm a diagnosis and assess how well treatment is going for these kinds of illnesses.
Sometimes CRP is tested if a pregnant woman has ruptured her membranes early. CRP can indicate if there are any problems with the baby.
A special type of CRP called a high-sensitivity CRP can help determine the risk for heart disease.