Could a Simple, Inexpensive Test Save Your Life?

This is not new information as I first posted it almost six years ago, but C-reactive protein seems to be a very good test to screen for "hidden" inflammation that is connected with heart disease and cancer. It may even have more predictive value than your cholesterol level. Only 15 percent of heart attacks are caused by these blockages. And that the majority of heart attacks--up to 85 percent--are caused by a combination of inflammation and fats that a cholesterol test can't detect.

I have been somewhat ambivalent about this test but I am now convinced that our practice will start performing this test on all our patients. Overall:

  • A CRP level reading of 3 or more puts you at higher risk for heart disease
  • A level of 1 to 3 puts you at moderate risk
  • If you've got a CRP reading under 1, your risk is low
  • People with a CRP less than 0.5 almost never have heart attacks

ABC News April 15, 2004

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