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CRP Test for Heart Disease

CRP stands for C-reactive protein, which is a protein in the blood that shows the presence of inflammation. A CRP test is a simple test that measures the levels of CRP in the blood. According to some research studies, high levels of CRP may be associated with an increased risk for developing heart disease and having a heart attack. At this point, a CRP test is not routinely recommended for diagnosing heart disease, but researchers continue to study the possible link between high CRP levels and heart disease.

What Is the CRP Test?

There is no single test to diagnose heart disease. So when a doctor thinks a person may have heart disease, he or she can recommend several different tests and procedures. Some of these tests used to make a heart disease diagnosis may include:
  • Blood tests
  • An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Stress tests
  • An echocardiogram
  • Nuclear heart scans
  • Cardiac catheterization.
Your doctor uses your physical exam results, heart disease risk factors, family history, and symptoms to decide which test or tests to order.
In the last several years, heart disease research scientists have proposed another test that may be able to more accurately determine if someone is at an increased risk for heart disease. This is called a CRP test. A CRP test is a simple blood test that measures the level of C-reactive protein, or CRP for short, in the blood. At this point, using this test for heart disease diagnosis is not routinely recommended, as researchers continue to study the effects of high CRP and heart disease.
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