What does elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) mean?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

C-reactive protein is a substance that the body makes, and circulates in the blood in response to inflammation and infection. It’s synthesized in the liver in response to factors released by fat cells. It serves as a good marker or indicator of heart disease risk. The test for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein is called hs-CRP test. A simple blood test can be done at the same time as a cholesterol screening. The high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (HS-CRP) test helps determine heart disease risk and is widely available. Patients should ask their doctors about HS-CRP specifically.


  • Less than 1.0 mg/L = Low Risk for CVD
  • 1.0 – 2.9 mg/L = Intermediate Risk for CVD
  • Greater than 3.0 mg/L High Risk for CVD

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