hsCRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein) is a blood marker that gives a measure of the general level of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a normal part of our body’s defence system. But when inflammation exists over a long period, that is when it can have a detrimental effect on health. Chronic inflammation is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, autoimmune diseases and many other health conditions. Because chronic inflammation does not always have obvious outwards signs or symptoms, then a sensitive blood analysis can help in detecting and monitoring chronic inflammation over time.
Inflammation is how our body responds to a variety of physical and internal threats. Inflammation can be present during a viral infection, a sprained ankle, or as part of a chronic health condition such as heart disease. Elevated levels of inflammation, which can be detected by measuring hsCRP levels, are closely linked to many chronic diseases. As the disease progresses, so too does the degree of inflammation.
The hsCRP analysis is more sensitive than a standard CRP analysis. That makes it more sensitive to smaller changes in inflammation. Regularly monitoring hsCRP allows you to identify a small problem before it becomes a big problem. And knowing that the problem is there lets you take positive diet, exercise, lifestyle and medical interventions to combat the inflammation.
Your hsCRP result can be used to:
Check your hsCRP levels are within the healthy range - Keeping your hsCRP level in the desirable range lowers your risk of chronic inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
Check if you may be at risk of cardiovascular disease - The hsCRP analysis can also report if you could have chronic inflammation and so may be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. If your result is above the level considered desirable, it is recommended you speak with your doctor to discuss the best way to manage your health. Catching some of the early signs of cardiovascular disease by a hsCRP analysis will help you track the impact of lifestyle changes on your risk.
The MonitorYou hsCRP results report contains:
An example of the report can be viewed here.
Note: hsCRP is only one risk factor for cardiovascular disease and should be used to assess risk in conjunction with other health results, personal medical history and lifestyle habits. The hsCRP analysis is not designed for diagnostic use or to detect acute inflammation from infection or injury. There are many medical conditions and medications that can affect the hsCRP result so a reading outside of the normal range should be investigated further by your doctor.
For clinicians and consumers who want in depth detail about the dried blood spot technology and other clinical and quality aspects of our hsCRP analysis click here
For more information please read our frequently asked questions.
hsCRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein) is a blood biomarker of inflammation and heart disease risk. CRP is a protein made by the liver. It is one of a group of proteins made by the body in response to injury, infection and disease and drives the inflammatory response. An hsCRP analysis measures levels of CRP in the blood, but has much more sensitivity to detect lower levels of it. Because the hsCRP analysis is more sensitive, it is better suited for seemingly healthy people to help assess their risk for heart disease.
Inflammation on its own isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal. That’s because inflammation is part of the body’s defence system. It is turned on when needed and then dies down after a short time to allow longer-term recovery and healing to take place.
But if inflammation sticks around at a low level or over a long period, that’s when it will have a detrimental effect on our health. Because chronic inflammation does not always have any outwards signs or symptoms, then a sensitive blood analysis can help in detecting and monitoring this over time. hsCRP is a marker of inflammation that can give a measure of the risk of cardiovascular disease which includes heart attacks, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.
Diet and lifestyle choices go a long way to treating inflammation. And for diet, what is widely considered an ‘anti-inflammatory diet’ is one high in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, legumes, and whole grains. A Mediterranean-style diet would be one such variation of this especially when you add in fish and olive oil.
Exercise is also a potent force against chronic inflammation. Weight loss is also effective in lowering inflammation because a decrease in body fat means reducing the ‘inflammatory factories’ being the fat cells. Quitting smoking is a clear win if you want less inflammatory stress in your body.
Because hsCRP is an indicator of inflammation, then a range of medical conditions that are known to cause inflammation will influence it. The following list includes some of the more common conditions where elevated inflammation is seen, but the list is by no means exhaustive.
Certain medications will also influence a hsCRP result. The following list includes some of the more common medications that can alter hsCRP levels.
More detailed information can be found in the clinical information section.
Incorrect sample collection can affect your hsCRP: using the at-home dried blood spot service is different to taking a fingerprick test with your doctor or taking a daily blood glucose measurement. It’s important to follow the instructions provided inside the blood collection kit and follow them step-by-step. Your results can be affected by incorrectly collecting your sample. And, if the spots are not large enough, you may be asked to repeat the sample collection. You’ll also need to pay close attention to the instructions on returning your sample to us.
Different laboratories: blood results from different laboratories can and do vary. This is because different laboratories may use different methods of analysis. This should be considered if you’re comparing results to those from other labs. For more information please read our frequently asked questions