Studies show that people with the highest hsCRP levels are about twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease and suffer a heart attack or other cardiac event as people with the lowest levels. As a result, hsCRP test results are now increasingly used along with other markers (such as cholesterol and blood pressure) to estimate cardiovascular risk.
Official guidelines for hsCRP testing are still evolving because it is not yet clear what CRP target levels should be for women of different ages and ethnicities. For now, levels below 1 mg/dL are considered low risk; 1 to 3 mg/dL, average risk; and over 3 mg/dL, high risk. The test should be reserved as a tiebreaker when clinicians are considering whether a person should take medication to reduce risk.