Did you know there is a blood test that can indicate your heart attack risk? – Times of India

After the recent death of Raju Shrivastava after a long health battle due to a heart attack at his gym, and many other celebrities we have lost to heart attacks in the last two years, anxiety about heart health is at its peak. is on Until a few years ago, we believed that someone who was physically fit and exercised regularly had good heart health, but the line seemed blurry. Most of the celebrities who made headlines with their untimely deaths were fit, healthy and exercised regularly. So is there a way to determine the risk of a heart attack? Well, it seems there is a blood test that can identify heart problems. The test is called cardio-C-reactive protein (hs CRP). Please note that a single reading may not give a completely clear picture of heart risk but continuous high readings may tell you that it is time to consult a doctor and take necessary action.

What is the cardio C-reactive protein (hs CRP) test?

Cardio C-reactive protein, also known as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs CRP), is a simple blood test. According to Dr Bikram Keshri Mohanty, Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon (Adult and Pediatric), Visiting Consultant at the National Heart Institute, “CRP or standardized CRP is a marker of inflammation which means whenever there is an infection anywhere in the body. CRP levels in the blood are elevated, hsCRP is more sensitive than standard CRP. In an otherwise healthy person, if the hsCRP level is high, it may indicate is an indication or warning sign that a person is more likely to have a blockage in the arteries of the heart, a heart attack, a sudden heart attack, a stroke or a blockage in the arteries of the arms and legs in the future.

Dr. Vivek Chaturvedi, Professor and HOD, Cardiology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad adds, “Cardio C-reactive protein or HSCRP is a test that has come to the fore recently, and as part of various diagnostic packages. available at . It is a sign of low-level chronic or long-standing inflammation. Inflammation is our body’s response to infection, stress, certain auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, etc. When we get a rash on our skin after an insect bite. When red spots appear, this is due to inflammation. Inflammation is good in the short term, but can be harmful to our body if it exists over a long period of time. Low levels of inflammation in the heart over a long period of time can lead to a heart attack, Associated with increased complications of sudden death, and need for angioplasty or bypass etc. People with persistently high hsCRP are at increased risk of heart disease. compared to those without HSCRP.

He adds, “Cardio C-reactive protein or hsCRP is only one piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is heart health. It should not be considered in isolation. Some studies have found that hsCRP High levels of P increase the risk of heart disease even in the absence of other risk factors, but this is still controversial. However, we strongly believe that the presence of increased hsCRP increases the risk of heart disease. The risk is further increased by other risk factors (eg, high BP, diabetes). It is important to remember that any recent infection can cause elevated CRP and hsCRP for several weeks. Therefore, it cannot be interpreted if you have had a recent infection or if you have some other autoimmune disease that can cause CRP to be elevated. Many healthy people have a bold hsCRP value. I was contacted for a consultation after being concerned about the cause, which was part of the so-called ‘whole body test’, which has become so common since the covid epidemic! Not that you Is going to have a heart attack! Always, hsCRP results, just like any other test, should be interpreted in a clinical context.”

What do the numbers mean?

A high number indicates that an otherwise healthy person is more prone to future heart diseases such as blocked arteries, heart attack, sudden heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.

According to Dr. Anupam Goyal, Director – Interventional Cardiology, Max Hospital, Saket, “Along with other risk factors and lipid panels, high Hs-CRP can be a marker of high risk of CVD even in apparently healthy individuals and indicates Maybe. One’s heart health. When the HSCPR is high, it should be repeated twice, preferably two weeks later (in the patient’s infection or severe illness) to confirm. that the person has persistently low levels of inflammation. High hCRP is only a marker of inflammation and is not specific for predicting heart disease. These values ​​are only part of the total assessment for heart disease and they should be considered along with high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and other CVD risk factors.

Elevated CRP levels are almost always associated with other risk factors for heart disease, including smoking, obesity, an inactive lifestyle, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high blood pressure). Abnormal lipid levels of sugar, and excessive accumulation of fat).

Read more: Watch out for these heart attack symptoms that appear a month earlier.

Regular screening after 40 is important.

People over the age of 40 should have their annual heart check-up, which includes blood tests for each system (kidney, liver, sugar and cholesterol), chest X-ray, ECG, echocardiography and treadmill test if needed. Included. If the individual falls into the high risk category for heart diseases which means if he has a family history of heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, history of chronic smoking, heavy alcohol consumption or obesity and especially But if the person has symptoms of heart diseases. Like chest pain or discomfort and shortness of breath, they should get these tests done before the age of 40 and consult a cardiologist.

Dr. Vivek explains, “There’s a lot of controversy surrounding executive checkups and routine tests to monitor your heart health. People panic because every day we hear about people collapsing at the gym, cycling. etc. What is definitely recommended for everyone starting at age 30 is regular BP check, weight measurement, sugar and cholesterol measurement. can be done on an individual basis. Even in healthy, fit people, 2-3 yearly glucose and cholesterol tests and annual blood pressure checks are reasonable. For people at high risk of heart disease, For example, people with a strong family history of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and those recovering from severe COVID should be screened more frequently and more extensively with additional tests, including special kidney and urine tests. , echocardiogram, etc. A treadmill test or coronary calcium score is also reasonable in sedentary patients at high risk of heart disease. May be. In very few selected cases with high disease risk and abnormal heart symptoms, a CT coronary angiogram is also ordered.”

How to maintain a heart healthy lifestyle?

A heart-healthy lifestyle has also been shown to reduce inflammation and reduce hsCRP. This includes total abstinence from smoking and active and passive exposure to tobacco. A healthy diet high in fiber, maintaining an ideal body weight, and regular physical activity.

Dr. Ankur Phatarpekar, Director, Cathlib and Interventional Cardiologist, Symbiosis Hospital, Mumbai shares, “Various preventive measures that can be taken to keep the heart healthy include lifestyle changes and drug-based treatments. can be discontinued. Lifestyle changes that can be made are eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption. These changes lower blood glucose levels as well as lower blood pressure, which affects the heart. Drug-based treatments for high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and high blood glucose levels. In addition to treatment, there are also treatments for CVD.”

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