C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is one of the first widely available tests that offers a tangible marker of inflammation. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) measures very low amounts of CRP in the blood giving much more precise and accurate readings. It is also an important marker of cardiovascular risk.
Elevated CRP is a definite indication of an inflammatory process present throughout the body. When inflammation persists, that is almost always a feature of subclinical disease—a process smoldering below the surface that is not yet detectible—in which tissue damage is occurring. The graph below represents the correlation between hsCRP, Framingham 10-year risk scores, and 10 year survival probability.
High CRP is common in prediabetes and diabetes, reflecting insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, all conditions with increased inflammation and a high risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated CRP levels can also indicate a long-term infection.
As a predictive biomarker, hsCRP reflects the effectiveness and efficiency of immune defenses, which are responsible for neutralizing any sign of infection, repairing daily wear and tear, and identifying and eliminating cancerous cells.
High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) is the preferred measure with a goal of <0.5 mg/dl.
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