C-Reactive Protein

A new blood test could help assess your risk of a heart attack.

The American Medical Association is recommending people who have a moderate risk of heart disease be tested for C-Reactive protein, or CRP.

Studies have linked high CRP levels to an increased risk of heart attack.

The blood test measures the amount of this specific protein, which is produced by the liver when there is inflammation in the body. Inflammation plays a key role in coronary heart disease.

Studies have shown a CRP level 3 or greater is linked to an increased risk of heart attack. CRP can be lowered using cholesterol-lowering strategies which include statin drugs, exercise and weight loss and quitting smoking.

Doctors advise if you have a cold or infection don't take this blood test until you're healthy because inflammation anywhere in the body could cause your elevation in your CRP unrelated to heart disease.