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Heart & Cardiology/hs CRP and cardiac risk?


Hi Dr.Pearl,
For the last 18 mo, my hs CRP has been around 3-4, whereas previously it was 0.6-0.9. I am  fit (58), am not overweight, am usually very active (playing competitive squash etc), don't smoke or drink. However, my PCP is concerned, but numerous blood tests have all been normal. The orthopedic surgeon  is reluctant to replace my hip before the level goes down, and/or he knows what's causing the elevation!
I am in a lot of pain with my hip and have to use 2 crutches to try and walk, and I badly need the surgery, but don't know what else to do Re: hs CRP.
I have taken vit D, and krill oil for years, and eat a gluten-free; virtually dairy and sugar free diet. I have a strong family history of heart disease, stroke and cancer, so this really worries me, as I think I have been doing everything I can to keep healthy.
I saw my cardio/EP last week as a 6 mo check after an AF ablation, which appeared successful( other than permanently raising my BP and HR enough to warrant being told to take B-blockers for the rest of my life!), and I have no other obvious sign of heart disease. However, my cardiologist/EP isn't really bothered at all by the CRP level-in fact he said people don't usually bother to measure it! I asked him how he knew that my arteries etc were not inflamed and contributing to the rise in BP, HR and CRP, and he said "because he had the clinical expertise to tell by looking at me!"  
Please do you have any advice on any test I should have or what else may be causing the high CRP? Also how much weight would you place on a high hs CRP( which used to be v.low at each annual check) with regard to CVD? My father was also 'fit' until he had a heart attack and stroke and died within 48 hrs at 58. I'm really worried( which also isn't helping I'm sure!).
Thanks so much  for your time-any advice or any comments would be very greatly appreciated:-)

CRP is very non-specific. Given your family history, ask doctor about a 64 Slice CT to assess coronary calcification. If your score is zero that would speak strongly against a coronary problem. If your score is above zero then you need to ask what you can do to keep it from getting worse. Good luck!!!
         Dr. P

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Frank J. Pearl, M.D.


Voluntary Professor of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL. Board certified in cardiovascular disease

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