C-Reactive Protein Test Helps Prevent Heart Attacks - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

C-Reactive Protein Test Helps Prevent Heart Attacks


Checking your cholesterol levels can be a huge factor in preventing heart attacks, but it's not the only prevention; there is another test that can also get quick results.

This test is unfamiliar to many, but it yields promising results when preventing heart attacks. The test's name is the C-reative protein test.  It's as simple as a blood test.  It measures inflammation in your arteries, inflamation that could put you at a higher risk for a heart attack.  

Dr. Gregory Carlson, a family doctor with TMC in Sherman says, "What we've found is that inflammation effects whether someone is going to have a heart attack or stroke so if you look at the inside of the arteries and they are irritated and inflamed then fatty plaque can attach to the lining of the arteries and clog them."  In some studies the C-reactive protein test has proven more accurate in predicting heart attacks than just checking cholesterol levels alone.  Dr. Carlson says the study found, "Women who had low LDL's (bad cholesterol) and high C-reative protein had a higher risk than women with low C-reative and high LDL's."  Dr. Carlson also says the people that should be getting the test are those with intermediate risks.  The intermediate study includes people 40 to 60 years of age who do not have a previous history of problems. 

Catching inflammation early can help you change your life style to prevent a heart attack in the future.  The cost depends on your insurance coverage.  It can cost as little as $10 to $15 or as much as $100 dollars.  If you can't afford it, you can check your risk factor online.  Dr. Carlson says the American Heart Association is a good place to start.  "It has good online tools where you can plug in all your individual data and you can have calculated for you what your risk of having a heart attack is over the next 10 years."

If you decide to get a blood test from your doctor and results find high levels of inflammation in your body, don't panic there are natural ways to put your body back in balance.  You can take fish oil tablets, change your diet, and exercise moderately to bring down inflammation.  Doctors also say those who have a poor diet and get little exercise are at higher risk for inflammation.

Checking your blood through the C-reactive protein test is a motivator not a substitution for monitoring your cholesterol.  If you want to get the C-reactive protein test just ask for it by name at your next check-up.     

Christina Lusby, Reports.