When a cholesterol test is performed, is a C-Reactive Protein test performed as well?
Cholesterol testing is performed to determine the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. This test is commonly used to check for asymptomatic disease or damage to the body; without explicit symptoms, possible health issues cannot be determined without a test. High cholesterol is a major factor in heart disease, so it is important to check regularly, especially if there are other factors present.
A C-Reactive Protein test is performed to test for inflammation in the body, but it cannot pinpoint the cause. This test would not normally be performed with a cholesterol test because it is a specific test for inflammation or infection.
However, if cholesterol is low but there are symptoms of heart disease, a CRP test could be used to check inflammation in the arteries, which is a factor in heart attacks. Recently, the CRP test has been proven to be effective in predicting heart disease, and so while it is not a standard test yet, it might become as routine as the cholesterol test and be performed at the same time.