CRP and LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol that clogs your arteries) levels have a few things in common:
- both can be measured with a simple blood test
- both are markers that can predict the increased risk of developing heart disease
- both can benefit cardiovascular health if their levels are lowered
- both can be lowered through healthy lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising, keeping blood pressure under control, and by certain medications
However, there are some important differences:
You cannot predict your CRP level based on your cholesterol levels, and vice versa. For example, someone with a low cholesterol level may still have a high CRP level. And someone with a low CRP level may still have high cholesterol.
CRP and LDL-C play independent and additive roles in your heart disease risk. "Independent" means that each one contributes separately to your risk. "Additive" means that if both CRP and LDL-C are high, your total risk will be equal to your risk predicted by CRP plus your risk predicted by LDL-C.
CRP is a stronger predictor of heart disease risk than is LDL-C. What does this mean for your level of heart disease risk?
- People with low CRP and low LDL-C have the lowest risk.
- People with low CRP and high LDL-C have a higher risk.
- People with high CRP and low LDL-C have an even higher risk.
- People with high CRP and high LDL-C have the highest risk of all.
About 50% of all heart attacks and strokes affect people who seem healthy and have normal cholesterol levels. CRP testing offers a way to identify some of these individuals so that they can reduce their heart disease risk before they have a heart attack or stroke.
That's why your doctor may recommend testing for both CRP and cholesterol levels. Ask your doctor if you should have your cholesterol or CRP levels tested.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/CRP-cholesterol-and-heart-disease